When we discuss SEO we normally speak about brilliant content and high quality incoming links. In this little post I would like to share some thoughts about server location and IP and their influence on your SEO.
Before continuing lets just get it straight that everyone using the Internet has an IP address. Your IP address contain information about your whereabouts in the world and that is why sites often use geo-block to make content unavailable to people with special IP addresses. A way to „get by this” is to use one of the many VPN tools available out there.
Server location and SEO
If you want to sell a lot of skies you better set up your shop in Norway and not in Jamaica. If your goal is to share good news and products with people in Canada, you should consider getting a webhost and a server located in Canada. When your website is crawled by Googlebot it is not only the incoming links and content that matter, but the actual location of your site might influence your ranking as well. Let me give you an example.
I am located in Hungary and want to find information about Budapest. I visit Google.hu (which is the standard for Hungarians) and search for Budapest. Wikipedia shows up early in the results followed by quite some other sites. In the search options I will find the chance to modify my search results by adding the option: „Sites in Hungarian” or „Sites from Hungary.” It gets really interesting as I add the filter „Sites from Hungary.” Suddenly Wikipedia and quite a lot of sites disappear and only sites with an actual server in Hungary are shown. Get the point?
Server IP and SEO
The IP address of your webserver can influence your ranking, both negatively and positively. Let us start with the negative. If your site is hosted on a server with an IP address where several others sites can be found together with yours, you might suffer if those other sites spam and do activities on the Internet punished by Google. To avoid this problem some people decide to ask for their blog to be hosted on an IP where only their blog can be found, their own.
When hosting your sites on different server or IP addresses the positive effect is that the links turn more juicy. If you have several sites located on the same server and IP it will be like standing outside the local grocery store shouting that this is the best store in town. Great, but people will understand that you promote yourself. If people on another point in town started sharing the news about your great product, that would be more influential. So also with IP addresses and websites. Incoming links from other sites on other locations will be more useful than websites with the same IP as the site you are actually linking to. This is of course a simplified version of an advanced truth, because I would probably go for a link from a PR5 site on the same server instead of a PR0 link from a site with another IP address, but I hope you get the point.
Do you have any input?
These were just some small input on a very advanced and complicated topic. If anyone out there have experiences, further input and advises, I would love to hear from you in a comment!