[I have a shared account with Hostgator which means that my websites share the same IP with a few other people. What are the chances that my website rankings will be affected by the other people sharing my IP? What if I have someone hammering their site with spam links from Scrapebox or something similar? Wouldn’t that have a negative effect on my websites as well?]
Search engines don’t hold you accountable for what is on a shared server or IP address, however, they do hold you accountable for who you link to. Linking to a bad neighborhood can and usually does affect your rankings.
In most cases, the cost of providing the so-called “SEO Hosting” is virtually identical to regular hosting. All that is required is a slightly different DNS server configuration and of course the cost of a separate pricing plan. And all for no genuine “SEO” benefit.
What next, anti-sandbox hosting? How about anti-climate change hosting? Oh yeah, that scam is well underway too.