|Effects of server location on Google search rankings|
Friday, July 6, 2012
We have had several merchants contact us who are interested in switching to VP-ASP Hosting but are concerned that having their store hosted on servers which are not located in their geographical area will affect their Google search rankings.
Our servers are based on the east coast of the USA so we can understand the concerns of our non US merchants.
We attempted to find out if server location does have an affect on search engine rankings and we found the following information on Google’s webmaster tools site:
Server location is actually one of the last factors Google uses to rank your site.
The strongest deciding factor is your top level domain (TLD); if you have a country-code top-level domain name (eg .co.uk) then your site will be ranked highly in that country regardless of server location.
If you have a generic top level domain (eg .com) you can target your site to a specific country by using the geotargeting tool in Google’s webmaster tools. For example if your store has a .com URL but you are based in the UK and only sell to the UK market, you can use the Geotargeting Tool to indicate to Google that your site is targeted at the UK.
Doing this will ensure Google targets your website at the UK regardless of server location.
You can learn how to use the geotargeting tool here
Only after these two factors will Google start to take server location into consideration, however they still do not use this as an overall deciding factor.
Google also take into account the following when looking for clues as to the intended audience of your site:
- Local addresses and phone numbers on your website
- The use of local language and currency
- Links from other local sites
You can read the full article here