Im interested to find out what peoples opinions are on moving a .com from a US to UK hosting IP address in 2010.
I realise there is Google webmastertools but i dont like this very much or trust it.
I would like to find out if anyone has any direct experience (testing) with this subject and what the effects were.
Im a little concerned (since the site gets most of its traffic from a US audience) that traffic and rankings will drop. I know this used to be the case because I tested it a few years ago (in 2008), but im wondering is it still the case in 2010. Do Google still aggressively use IP hosting location to form assumptions about ranking on .com addresses.
Your rankings in Google will drop unless you set the Geographic Target in the Webmaster Tools console. For generic TDL domains, the IP address is the primary means by which Google determines geo-location. They just did a post that talks about this in their blog a week or two ago. Check it out.
Agree with Raiborick. If you were to move a .co.uk site from UK host to USA, it might not be as much an issue. For Google to decide location by priority: 1. TLD 2. hosting location / IP 3. Geotargeting in WMT The 2 and 3 above may not be exactly that order. In short, if you don't have a country specific domain, make sure that you have 2 and 3 done correctly.