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I have noticed that some free hosting websites add scripts at the end of uploaded pages. For example:

<noscript><a title="Free hosting" href="http://www.1freehosting.com">Free hosting</a><a title="Web host free" href="http://www.1freehosting.com">Web host free</a><a title="Free websites hosting" href="http://www.1freehosting.com/free-website-and-hosting.html">Free websites hosting</a></noscript>
<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-21588661-2']);
  _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', window.location.host]);
  _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]);
  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

    var fga = document.createElement('script'); fga.type = 'text/javascript'; fga.async = true;
    fga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://www' : 'http://www') + '.1freehosting.com/cdn/ga.js';
    var fs = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; fs.parentNode.insertBefore(fga, fs);

  })();
</script>

Does Google penalize pages having these added scripts when ranking pages? Is there any ranking penalty for using free hosting websites in general (I mean other than possible server speed issues)?

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This is Google Analytics code and it appears that the "free hosting" people are tracking the visitors to your site. I would not see any ranking issue but I would see a large privacy issue for users (and yourself). –  joesk Jan 30 '13 at 14:38
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The link in noscript tag could qualify as a hidden link, so it wouldn't be out of the question for Google to penalize for this. However, googlebot should be ignoring links in noscript tags. It may be a hidden link but it is a very mild one. The best way to test for sure would be too look at some pages that are hosted by this company and see how they rank.

The script they put in there is their google analytics tracking. It shouldn't cause an SEO problems.

There are SEO problems caused by some free hosts. I helped a webmaster track down a crawlability problem he was having with his website that was caused by the way his free web host was inserting tracking cookies: GWT "Big traffic change for top URL"

My experience with free hosting is that you get what you pay for. In other words, you don't pay anything and you will end up getting nothing. When I started out on the web I was using a free web host for a year or so. Then they shut down. I was lucky. They gave me a month of warning. I see some complaints about 1freehosting.com here: http://blackhat.wsofree.com/52365/anyone-else-hosting-on-1freehosting-having-problems-all-of-my-websites-are-down.html so be careful what you get yourself into. Free hosts usually shut down within a year due to abuse and lack of a business model.

I would recommend finding a cheap host for $5 to $10 a month. At that price point, you can't expect to have a fast website. They are likely to be overloading their servers quite a bit. But if you do your research and find a hosting company that has been in business for a while, it should be better than trying to rely on free hosting.

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