Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?

Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?


>>CUTTS: Lee from the UK asks, “Hi, Matt,
could you confirm whether the geographic location of the web host has any significant ranking
factors for organic SEO?” Yes, it does because we look at the IP address of your Web server.
So if your Web server is based in Germany, we’re more likely to think that it’s useful
for German users. That’s not the only country we’re going to return you for and we also
look at the TLDs, so we look at .de, .fr, all those sorts of things. You can also specify
in Google’s Webmaster console and say, “Yes, my site, my.com or .net, or whatever, is about
this specific country. You can even do that for specific parts of your site like de.something.com,
or fr.example.com. So I would absolutely recommend that you use those tools. You know, if you
find a great deal in a particular country and you really want to stay in that country
with your Web server, I think that’s fine. But if you are worried about it or you want
to experiment, you can certainly try switching the geographic location of your Web server,
which is essentially changing your IP address, and that might end up helping for various
countries. So it’s the sort of thing where I encourage you to experiment.

23 thoughts on “Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?

  1. What about servers within a country? If my client wants to target South Florida and my company's server is in California, will that make a difference as well?

  2. How will this affect a site served up through a CDN like Akamai? The IP address would remain the same, but it would look like it's being hosted in every country. Would a Google bot from the UK see the site as a UK site and a Google bot from the US see it as a US site?

  3. GoogleWebmasterHelp: Do you work for Google? Are these official statements from google? Im assuming you do since your saying "we", but just wanted to verify.

  4. thank you for conclusively answering the question that i have been trying to answer for the last day or two, directly from the horses mouth, thankyou.

  5. From this can we conclude that the IP address is measured, and the distance between searcher and possible result are included in the search algorithm, but the weighting relative to other factors is dynamic, and impossible for you to generalise about, hence the non committal non-answer? All else being equal (which never happens) it matters, but in reality, other factors outweigh this significantly in the vast majority of cases. Relevant content wins over everything else, as it should be.

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  7. I have my page hosting in Argentina, but I want to change to another hosting who has servers in USA.
    The Domain is .com.ar
    If I use Google tools or some HTML meta tags to help in location, I will still loose ranking in Argentina? I want the best ranking in Argentina, but the actual server is not good enough.

  8. So does that mean,chaning your ip address(say U.S) when you upload youtube videos,is more likely to pull traffic from U.S?

  9. How about CDNs? When they cache/accelerate your site the i.p address is changed, even with google pagespeed the i.p changes, so how Google knows the real i.p of the server? how that affects SEO ?

  10. This post is from 2009. I haver serious doubts that this is still accurate. There are many companies hosting on heroku, amazon etc. I know that in webmaster tools you can choose the local.

  11. I think it's outdated info or it will be. Google, like Amazon has its own cloud services and offers it worldwide. They would hurt themselves. By other hand i have had very bad experiences with Located IP (failover) so definitely it is not the solution. I think time will tell but we are increasingly focused on cloud and cloud knows no frontiers or countries.

  12. Hi,
    If I have a server that serves round-robin DNS from a variety of geo-locations (different country or same country) for the purpose of clustering, what would be the effect on google search results?

  13. It's not outdated by cloud computing. First understand what cloud computing is, it is someone else's computer. So using somone else's computer doesn't change the equation at all. Second, farther away you are the more latency there is in the connection, that's going to make for slower response times. Depending upon what you are searching for, local results may be more relevant. So in short, even in the days of cloud computing, it still matters.

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