When you enter a web address into your browser, your computer retrieves a number that is used as a server address. This address is where you will send all of the information and files for your site. Your browser then compares this address to what is called a “hint”checker” file. If you are not successful in finding the exact server name, your browser then guesses at other possibilities based on the hint file. Sometimes the result is a match, but usually it is not, and then the browser continues to search other results until it finds a successful match.
The reason that your server has to have an IP address is because the search engine needs to have a way to communicate with your website. When a web user types in the IP address of your website, the search engine has to know where to send the information. The webmaster also has to have the ability to communicate with the search engine to have the data sent to their website. If your website does not have an IP address assigned to it, it will have to use the “subdomain” method of directory hosting. This means that your website is kept on a different server from your own. It also means that your IP address is used for more than just a “hint” file.
The “subdomain” method of hosting is perfect for websites that are trying to avoid being found by search engines. It allows the webmaster to bypass search engines completely. Using subdomains is a great way to protect a website from search engines that keep finding the site. However, it also means that the person using this method of hosting will have to pay a higher price for their domain. It is much like paying more for a domain if you do not have one assigned to you.