Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for E-commerce

Server Location matters for TLD and Local placement (Google)

by Andrew Kagan 8. June 2009 08:14

Google's Matt Cutts posted a video reply recently on whether a server's physical location affects search rank...surprise...it does!

Matt pointed out that in the early days of Google (ca. 2000) the only locational reference used was the TLD (top-level domain) of a website, so if your URL ended in ".FR" then it was assumed your website was franco-centric and would be more relevant than a website ending in ".UK". 

The explosion of TLDs of late makes it harder to pinpoint relevance based on URL, so Google is also using the IP address (and parent NetBlock) of the server to identify it's location...so a server located in France will receive more weight for french queries than a server located elsewhere. How much this contributes to overall rank is debatable, but likely it's more important for local search results.

So if you have a web presence in multiple countries, it might make sense to locate servers locally to your markets...certainly it might improve the latency of queries (although again, it would depend on the ISP). There are also IPPs that offer hosting on multiple netblocks in specific territories to achieve the same effect.

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