IP location doesn’t matter

Many people say that hosting their website in the country they’re targeting matters for SEO, so the IP needs to fit to the country.. The truth is: IP location doesn’t matter.

A lot of SEO ‘experts’ still says it matters, but I would assume an ‘expert’ is up to date, sadly they’re not.

Let’s say you want to target danish audience, you can choose a host within Denmark, and many people do, but some people might find a better deal or host that fits them in another country like Norway, Sweden, Germany, UK, or Netherlands.

Back in the days Google used the TLD and the IP to determine how the site should appear in their search results. This means if the site was called cars.de Google would assume that the site was target for Germany, because most of the time you wouldn’t use a .de domain for your site.

If you was using a generic TLD like .com, .org, .eu etc, Google wouldn’t really be able to determine where your target audience was. So Google decided to look at the IP address of the site, if the IP was located in UK, they would assume that your site was a site targeted for UK.

Google found out, that this is really unreliable, because people might buy hosting in another country than their target audience. This is why Google decided to build the Geotargeting tool which is built into Google Webmaster Tools. This tool allows people that is using a generic TLD to set where their target audience is located. A great feature is that you could also geotarget subdomains or subfolders, allowing you to have a folder or subdomain that was targeted to a specific country.

Google doesn’t allow this geotargeting for ccTLDs (Country-code top-level domains), because the TLD is already telling Google which country you’re trying to target.

So if you’re having a .de domain, Google knows that your site is target Germany, if you’re using a .dk domain, they know you’re targeting Denmark.

Also Google doesn’t only look at the TLD itself, they also look at the main traffic source on the site, as well as the content language defined on the site itself. So if you’re using a .DK domain, most of your traffic is coming from Denmark, and the content of your site is in Danish, Google knows for sure that your site is a danish website, they don’t even consider looking at the IP.

Same goes for generic domains, if they can see main traffic is coming from Denmark, the content is in danish, they will know that your site is danish.

The only time Google will look at the IP, is when you’re using a generic TLD that does NOT define the geotargeting within Google Webmaster Tools.

Another thing to look at is the speed of your website, so can you get a faster site my moving it to another country, this will benefit you in terms of ranking due to the site speed.

Another reason why Google don’t look at the IP is due to how many websites work today. Websites need to load fast, else you’ll get a bounce rate for your visitors, to make a website load fast allover the world, many sites either make use of a CDN, some global cloud or even doing ‘GeoHosting’.

This works by using something called a ANYCAST network, this means multiple servers around the world, can use the same IP’s, so even hosting the site in a specific country, the site can still have an IP from another country assigned. A good example for a ANYCAST network is EdgeCast, they have 23 datacenters around the world, but they only return 3 different IPs, all IPs have the origin of CA, US.

IP doesn’t matter, and haven’t been the case for multiple years.

Watch the video explaining it here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/62399?hl=en