Does the Web Hosting Country Affect SEO?
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Does the Web Hosting Country Affect SEO?

Hello, this is John Locke, and today I’m
answering a great question that I saw in an SEO thread. And that question is, “Does
the location of your server have an effect on SEO?” The context of this
question is, “If you are targeting customers in a certain country, should
your server be based in that country? Should your website be hosted on a
server from that country?” So the original person asking this question, they said
they had their server hosted somewhere in Eastern Europe, and they
moved the server location over to the United States, after that they saw an uptick in
search traffic. There’s a couple factors that could be explaining why this is
happening. I do think that there is a little bit of a boost from having
your server located in the country that you’re targeting. Let me
explain each of these things happening. First off, I’m going to explain some of the
things that might come from the server not necessarily being located in a
different country, but other things that might happen. Now, you could see a traffic boost
strictly from having a better server. (that will help SEO). If you upgrade your hosting from some outsourced host or some localized IT company, and move it to a good hosting company,
if you’re moving up from a host like Hostgator or Bluehost —
sorry they’re not really good with hosting — if you move your site to
somewhere like Kinsta or WP Engine or Pagely or Flywheel, then you’re probably going to see a boost in the performance of your website.
The speed of your site is going to be better, so that’s probably going to
give you some performance gains. As far as SEO goes, if your site loads quicker, then
yes, that’s going to help you with SEO. Remember that Google looks
at the Time To First Byte, which is how long it takes the
the browser to go to the server, and start serving up assets to make a
webpage. Page speed makes a big difference. If you have a slow loading
page, that’s not going to perform as well as a fast loading page, over a long
period of time. So that probably makes a difference. Speaking from
personal experience, I can tell you that when you move a server from the non-target country to a target country, that seems to make a difference. For
example, I have someone that I recently picked up as a client, they compete
internationally. Their main target is basically in Italy, but
their customers come from the US and the UK primarily. What they noticed is
people that host just in Italy, the people who are localized and they host
their website in Italy, they seem to do better in local searches in Italy. But my client
does better in searches internationally, like in the US the UK, places in Western
Europe, he does better, because he is hosted in the US, and not in Italy.
The second anecdotal personal experience: I had a customer, a client, that was being
hosted in Canada, and we moved their site from the Canadian web host to a US web
host, and they seem to get a bit of a boost from that (in US rankings). In their case, search terms that were
ranking at number 15 went up to number 10. Keywords that were ranking at number five went up to number two. Those sorts of gains. I think a lot
of that had to do with the speed of the server, not necessarily the
location of the server. But definitely the speed of the server. Now, this company,
their business also targets people in Canada and the US, so I don’t think that
that was necessarily a big thing. The person in the original thread in the SEO
forum, they said that they were being hosted in Eastern Europe. Then they
moved to a US server, and they saw boosts in SEO
right away. I think being on a good hosting platform and a good server,
one that’s not cheap, like $5.00 a month shared hosting, but some good hosting that you’re
going to pay in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 dollars, maybe even $100 a
month, to be on a good host — that’s going to make a big difference, as opposed
to a $5 or a $10 a month hosting. Generally, those types of hosting
platforms try and cram as many sites as they can into one server instance.
Meaning that you could be sharing resources with 10,000 other websites. So
when it says “unlimited resources”, it means unlimited resources, except for the
other 10,000 sites that are crammed in on that server. Those sites are usually really
slow. Yeah I do think that if you’re targeting a specific country, and you’re
hosting in that country, I think that that is a signal to Google that you have
a localized business. For example, if you are hosting in Ireland,
you would want to target people in Ireland. Maybe
finding the best hosting company in Ireland might be a good idea (if your site is aimed toward Irish customers).
Another thing that you can do is, some hosting companies have different
data centers. Some hosting companies, like SiteGround,
will let you pick which data center that you’re actually hosted on. They
have different ones (data centers). They have one in Chicago for the US. They have one in
Singapore, and one in Eastern Europe. So if you pick
a data center that’s closer to your target audience, that site is going to be
a little bit faster for them, because data still travels through the internet, and
a lot of it’s through undersea cables. Many people don’t know that, but it
goes through undersea cables that’s how the internet is connected. So if a data
center is closer to the people searching in North America or South America, it’s going to be just a little
bit faster than the one that is hosted in Europe or in Asia.
So definitely, where you host your site makes a bit of
a difference. If you’re targeting a specific country, you might
want to host in that country. (If you do not care about international traffic.) Now
if you do care about international traffic, I would suggest that you host
either in the US, or possibly the UK. Use a data center or a host that is
based there. One way that you can tell where your current website hosting is based,
and you can tell this very easily is do a WHOIS check. What is a WHOIS? The
check looks up the domain name records for your site. So it will
tell you when your domain was first registered. It will tell you usually
what the hosting name service or the host company is, the underlying host for
your company. I usually use to do a WHOIS
look up. There’s other services out there. and all these different
ones. But that’s the one that I generally like the interface of. I’ll put that
in the show notes: That will tell you where you are hosting with (and what country they are based in). Many of the managed WordPress hosting companies,
if you’re on WordPress, a lot of them are reselling Google cloud hosting. If you see that in there (in the WHOIS lookup) the records where it says “Google”,
that’s why that’s happening. So if you’re on managed WordPress hosting, they’re
reselling somebody else like AWS , Amazon Web Services, or they are reselling Digital
Ocean, or they are reselling Google cloud hosting. A few years ago,
many of them were reselling Linode hosting. It will say that down in the
WHOIS records instead of the actual name of the host. I hope that all makes
sense. Yeah definitely, where you host matters, and what country
you host in matters. To sum up, if you’re targeting
a country, host in that country. If you’re targeting internationally, host in the
US or the UK. You can look that up using a WHOIS record. Also, invest
in good hosting, because it does make a difference. Don’t just use cheap
hosting. This is John Locke for Lockedown Design and SEO. We’re here
publishing videos every single day. We’d love to see you subscribe. Got a question?
Leave it in the comments below, we’ll answer it in a future video. That’s it
for this video. Until next time, peace.

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