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Google and non-US ISP's
It appears that google penalize sites hosted on non-US ISP's

 4:14 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the old days, google didn't care where you are located. Google just wanted good content, regardless of your location.

We are ranking well on Google.ca (regardless of if 'show only Canadian Content' is on or off).

Our same site is buried deep in Google.com. I have checked other sites, including US sites that host in Canada, and they are penalized as well.

We are now at the point where we are seriously considering switching to an American ISP, so Google will stop penalizing us.

It would be nice if Google would change their policy, but I don't think this is going to happen anytime soon.

I always belive that content of the site, not where the site is located should dictate search engine position.

My major concern, is if Google has a memory, and once you are labelled as non-american, switching ISP's will not help.

Has anybody else Americanize their ISP provider?



 5:32 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

You don't say how long the current situation has been going on.

If it has been like you describe for a long time, fair enough, but if this is only a recent development, it's likely to be connected to the ongoing 'Jagger' update of Google. If so, I would suggest waiting until things settle down on Google before making a decision. Have you checked the various Google datacenters to see which give better or worse results?

Speaking personally as someone who uses non-U.S. hosting, I've never seen any real differences between .com results and other tld's when 'pages from ABCLand' is not selected.


 5:37 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

You could have something there. We have a very big site 200k pages and all the states pages disappeared. Our site is hosted in Europe and this got me thinking as the European pages did not go. Must be a hosting thing or a keyword thing.


 6:14 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts has just posted about this on his blog.

Okay, now Iím debugging on the fly but I think Iíve found it. yahoo.com.ar redirects to ar.yahoo.com, so thatís where weíll index things. The search you gave was for yahoo but only on ďpŠginas de ArgentinaĒ (pages in Argentina). If yahoo did things on yahoo.com.ar they would be returned because of the TLD, but they donít. And if ar.yahoo.com was hosted in Argentina then it would be returned, but the site isnít hosted in Argentina. I can see your point matiasn, but itís nothing thatís hand-done by Google.

So, if I am reading it correctly, he reckons that local pages should be returned in respect of the TLD no matter where the site is hosted.

Anybody read it differently to me? Let me know if you do, as it means I will have to get new hosting for a site I'm working on.


 6:27 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

We're hosted in the UK.

When I do a Google.co.uk search for a particular phrase (choosing 'the web' not 'pages from the UK'), I see us as the top result.

When I do a Google.com search for the same phrase (connecting through a US proxy server so G can't tell that I'm in the UK) I see us as #3 result. BUT the results set I'm seeing is the same one that Google.co.uk had last week.

So maybe it's just update-related?

Best, a.


 6:33 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have been suspecious of this behavior for almost a year, however they must have really cranked up the penalty in the last update.


 4:39 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've seen the same thing with .co.uk resutls earlier in the year. One of my sites was wiped out at google.com but continued to score well for several months at google.co.uk (even the "the web" search), until the next update came along.


 5:18 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)


I am now hosting mirrors of my main sites in the UK, US and AsiaPac to try to give good service to users in each region and to avoid being penalised for having a gTLD (.org) by any geo-sensitive SE.




 7:30 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you were hosting 3 mirrors, wouldn't you get penalize for duplicate content?


 1:36 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's more that the locally hosted sites are bumped up in regional Googs, rather than "penalised" in the global results. The glass is half full.


 2:04 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I definitely agree with oodlum.

I've always seen small differences between .com and .otherTLD searches. Differences that can't be put down to serverflux only.

It's only natural that someone seaching from .se would expect, and probably prefer, results from Sweden regardless of language.

When trying to collect proof of my hypothesis, I actually notice that my site, which is hosted in Sweden, ranks better on Google.com for search terms in English, than it does on Google.se...


 10:38 am on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)


I see no evidence of a duplicate-content penalty. Note also that the two primary mirrors can been seen under the primary URL with DNS round-robin load-balancing.




 12:22 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just a small tech point ..an ISP is the company who provide the connection from your computer ( home or office to the net ) ..
You actually mean the host company ( where your site is )..not the same thing .
My experience from France is that google looks at where you are hosted.. lets say the USA ..and if I in France type in a query for a French word ..even if you have your site in french ( server space etc costs around 4 times less in the USA than here and overage bandwith ..waaaay less than here )..you will be lower in the serps returned than a french site hosted in France for the same query ..EVEN IF.. the surfer has ticked "results from the web" and not narrowed the field to "results in french" ( or what it says in french at the google options for search )..

Also something which now bears out in google is that even if your site is hosted in France ..and is in french ..incoming links from servers outside France.. however on topic and however authorititive the sources might be and how ever much "trust rank" ..( a much missunderstood area ) the link giving site has ..these "incomings" will count and contribute lower than links from France that are equally focused ..even from lower ranked sites ..

This applies obviously wherever the scenario can be placed ..the exceptions are in relation to .edu's who can reasonably be expected to be doing a great deal of cross natinal linking to research papers etc ..

So you need links to your site from the country in which th eyeballs you want to target actually are ..in order to alleviate downgrading due to hosting elsewhere ..that isn't to say that transnational linking counts for nothing ..just less ..and PR which is at best an irrelevancy ..doesnt play a role in this ..or much else ..except the minds of lazy webmasters ..


 4:13 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I always wonder if Google would ever search the WHOIS information, however with more and more companies using private registration (to block name, email and address) from email harvesters, this would not be very useful.

In Canada, we use ISP and hosting company to mean the same thing, as the phone company up here provides both services and virtually controls the market. But you are correct, the discussion title should be:

Google and non-US hosting companies
It appears that google penalize sites hosted on non-US hosting companies.

One thing you should watch out for, a lot of these large US hosting companies, now have datacenters in both Europe and the USA. So you want to make sure you are really hosted from a US datacenter.


 5:26 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's more that the locally hosted sites are bumped up in regional Googs, rather than "penalised" in the global results. The glass is half full.

The behaviour I've seen earlier this year wasn't just a minor tweak, it appeared to be a different index. Although there does generally seem to be some tweaking (in the UK for example ebay.co.uk tends to be higher than ebay.com in a search for "ebay").

I think that perhaps the underlying rule set isn't always updated in the national Googles at the same time as Google.com, which can explain the difference.

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