What impact does server location have on rankings?
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What impact does server location have on rankings?


We have a question from Rob Lewicki in
Toronto, Ontario. Rob asks: What impact does server location
have on Google rankings? Well – way, way back in the dawn of Google,
you know it was funny because people would rank in different countries based only on the tld. So, .fr meant that you were French but
that’s all that they knew and back in 2000-2001 type time frame, we started to look at where is a server
located, it’s ip-adress. To say well, oh it doesn’t end in .fr but
it is located in France, according to it So maybe this is really useful for French users.
So that’s the primary way you have an impact on Google’s rankings. You know, if you’re just
in the US, your site is in the US and you have never been outside the US, you might
never notice any of these factors. But where your server is located, whether
it’s in the US or France, Germany or Britain or Canada or anywhere else can determine our rankings – so for example
if you go to google.com and you type in “bank” you get different results than if you go to
google.com.au and you type in “bank” or google.co.uk and you type in “bank”. So, we do absolutely try to return the most
relevant results to each user in each country and server-location in terms
of ip-adress is a factor in that.

27 Comments

  • mrcakey

    Always suspected this. Sadly the answer is not good for me – my server's in Germany (1&1) and site is in England. I rank well enough anyway, but it's interesting to note I might be ranking better if I went with a local server.

  • Marawan Abdelhady

    i totally agree , i can understand that google search shows different results depending on where u r searching from but having page ranking depending on where the server is located is not so relevant!

  • TheDonBarracuda

    Rob from reading the other viewers comments you may need to talk a little bit more about this issue. Some people pick servers on pricing aswell, sometimes cheaper to buy outside your own country.

  • LoonArg

    I think that is good, but you are not thinking about us, who live in countries without a good hosting service, and we need to host in USA some non-english content…
    But on the other hand, if you need to get visits from a country in special, and your hosting is not there, I dont personally recommend to change hosting, I do prefer to use Webmaster Tools from Google to enhance country oriented thing

  • Simarprit Singh

    This is logical Matt, but my concern is that it puts pressure for some sites which are based out of US but have very local content, which is being updated on the fly or gather UGC from specific geographies

  • "And then he said..."

    All my sites are targeted at the UK because that's where I am. My hosting is in Florida because a friend in DC recommended the company. It's stayed there because they give fantastic service – problems solved in minutes of raising a support ticket. But this suggests I ought to move to UK hosting to maximise ranking. Doesn't sound ideal to me.

  • speleding

    I run a site that is really not location constrained and useful to anyone who speaks English. Where should I put my server to get the best ranking? My guess US would be the largest English speaking area but I am very happy with the service I have now, outside the US (in the Netherlands). Is it worth the move?

  • Alexeixx3

    This is the worst way to decide whereter or not a website is important for a user. I think most of the servers are located in the US, no matter if the site is from a mexican business

  • Shane Crawford

    Seems silly as I chose an Australian Hosting company for my .com.au site, but little did I know that they were an affiliate of an American company so technically the server is based in the US? Why should server location really matter!!

  • RemixPicture

    This sucks balls. If I have a hostin account which allows me to host unlimited domains with them, then why should I buy another hosting account just to rank better in the targeted country? It makes NO sence at all since most people do not buy a hosting account depending on it's geo location. People buys hosting accounts that fitst their price range and their websites content.

  • hz2xc

    Yes, but Google also say that server speed or website speed is also a ranking factor, so if you have a server in the geo location you are targeting, your target will access your site faster, therefore even if the ip address of your server wasn't a factor, it implicitly becomes one due to speed differences.

  • BluCoder

    It doesn't make sense…
    So if I live in Venezuela and have a website here, I just can't use a foreign hosting provider from the USA (which are better) because it will affect my regional ranking?? That doesn't make sense at all.
    I don't trust any hosting provider in my country. Why can't I just use a US hosting provider without affecting my ranking?!
    Doesn't make sense….

  • ZelenoJabko

    Well. Here in Slovenia, we do mostly order hostings and VPSes in Germany, because they are a lot cheaper. Guess not good for SEO.

  • Anna C

    Great idea adding subtitles, makes it all easy and quick to digest, even with such a small amout of info. Well done and Thank you!

  • abelahora

    This is only if you don't use the Google Webmaster Tools….
    Look at this Youtube Google Video "Setting a geographic target for your site in Webmaster Tools"

  • aaaarrrgggghh

    I have 4 sites about INSURANCE and they rank reasonably well. I have launched another site about insurance. Will it hurt if I interlink various articles between these various sites?
    Linking up all the articles will improve the content, keeping the users within my "wing".
    But by doing this I will be "voting" my own sites. How is this seen by google? In the doubt, I avoid linking to my own sites, just to others (!?)

  • aaaarrrgggghh

    I find what you say on this video quite difficult to believe. Simply because I trust Google to be better than others in bringing me GOOD, RELEVANT results.
    Imagine Italians are searching for the best tires for sale in Milan. If the best shop in Milan has a website that's hosted in the USA, simply because it is cheaper to host it there, then what is google going to do, NOT give the best results?

  • aaaarrrgggghh

    same here, I live in Italy but would NEVER host in Italy. Also I would NEVER use dot it but use dot com only. This is because dot com are a billion times more flexible than dot it. To buy a dot it domain I have to fax letters, wait weeks, ask for permissions, beg to move dns, pay more money, it is a nightmare.

  • Ravindra Joisa

    How can server location be considered ? The reason why I'm asking is .. I have a tech blog and have my domain .COM and hosting registered with GoDaddy, India and the servers are in Singapore. will the server location matter.. b'coz mine is a tech blog where I write about How-To

  • Alex Pye

    Does anyone have any idea how much of a ranking factor server location actually is? I need to be able to attribute it to some monetary terms as changing a clients server has to merit the cost.

  • Sidi Elazhari

    @Google Webmasters Hi, is this still relevant? Does the server location still have an impact on Google Raking? So, a Canadian site would be punished for being hosted on AWS (US) VS at a local Canadian hosting company?

  • MV N

    But it is also about the quality of servers and services, features, uptime and the price. Server IP should not really matter that much, Geo Targeting option in GWT is good to set the targeting. Google should understand that, also for page load speed concerns, there are international CDN services.

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