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Impact on SEO of changing IP address from US to UK
stef25




msg:4358860
 7:46 pm on Sep 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

My main cash cow site used to be hosted with Hostgator / ThePlanet in the US and I've now moved it to my Linode server which is in the UK. To avoid a negative impact on SEO and traffic would it be recommended to purchase a separate US IP address for this site?

I'm not actually sure this is possible (at all, or with Linode). Assuming it is, should I?

All traffic is 100% organic, nothing from incoming links.

 

tedster




msg:4358924
 12:45 am on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I assume your website is a generic TLD, such as .com, .net etc - correct? Normally changing an IP address doesn't impact rankings, however I have no experience with moving to an IP from another country block. I'd say there is a chance it might impact rankings.

Maybe someone else knows more about it than I do. I've never heard of using an IP address from one country for hosting within another country. It may be possible - just that I've never looked into it or done it.

rowtc2




msg:4358971
 6:59 am on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Country IP it has a small importance, I would maintain the script on a US server if your audience is from US/com.

spyjunior




msg:4359125
 4:13 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

assume your website is a generic TLD, such as .com, .net etc - correct? Normally changing an IP address doesn't impact rankings, however I have no experience with moving to an IP from another country block. I'd say there is a chance it might impact rankings.

Very well said Tedster, IP address doesn't impact rankings.

stef25




msg:4359132
 4:28 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. Yep it's a .com. Should there be any serious issues I'll report back. The site's very clean so could be a nice test.

wheel




msg:4359137
 4:38 pm on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Country IP it has a small importance, I would maintain the script on a US server if your audience is from US/com.

Whoa, are you sure? I'd say it's got *at least* a medium importance, particularly for ranking in the serps for a country.

If you want to rank in the US, better host there. if you want to rank in the UK, host in the UK.

louieramos




msg:4359295
 1:35 am on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Based on experience with my current client, he's got a new .eu site hosted in the US and we are optimising his website on google uk. After a couple of months I was able to get him on Page 3 for his money keyword and remained there for a while. I got him to change host from US to UK and get a dedicated IP for his website, which he did.

2-3 weeks later his ranking climbed from 30 to 11 for his money keyword, and now 4 weeks later he is in the Top 10. I can't say 100% that IP affects rankings, but based on my experience it did.

mikeavery11




msg:4365720
 5:26 am on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

As far I know there is no great importance about IP. Country IP helps us faster ranking but not a great barrier to ranked.

Leosghost




msg:4365788
 10:10 am on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can't say 100% that IP affects rankings, but based on my experience it did.

It does

engine




msg:4365806
 11:45 am on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

The issue is whether you're targeting US or UK, or otherwise.
A UK IP will do you better good in google uk. What it doesn't do, which is what tedster was saying, is affect any ranking from the point of view of on-the-page- optimisation. With other sites positioned differently in the UK serps it'll position the site differently according a to a number of factors, not least being the competitiveness of the target keywords. It might be much more competitive in the Uk, but less so in the US, therefore positioning will be less good in the uk.
Clear as mud, eh!

Either way, the IP assessment is not always that accurate.

shazam




msg:4365914
 3:54 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

From my experience both recently and through the years, IP address absolutely matters.

Just a few months ago this was once again proven. I have a few sites where most of my conversions come from Canada. The sites have been hosted in the States for quite a while. I knew what I had to do, but as we all know a person gets busy and there's always an endless source of fires to put out and urgent projects to complete. Well I finally bought a server in Canada and got the sites moved. Within the first two months I saw a drastic shift in traffic and rankings. Now, my US rankings are not so good, but the same keywords are getting nice rankings in google.ca which is exactly what I wanted to happen. No other changes were made to these two sites.

Same story with another site that I have had hosted in the UK for many years. Same with a handful of sites I have in Asia.

Google has data centers all over the world and from my experience they all treat the local results differently. It's pretty much a no brainer in my opinion that if you want to compete in country X, then your better off having your server in country X.

I wish IP address didn't matter so much, it would be nice and convenient, not to mention cheaper, to simply use one host.

Robert Charlton




msg:4365992
 6:52 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wish IP address didn't matter so much, it would be nice and convenient, not to mention cheaper, to simply use one host.

This may in fact be why it matters. Google wants to return sites that have a genuine local presence. As local results become more important, Google needs to make it harder to game them.

Chances are that a combination of factors enter into determining the geo-location of any particular site... inbound links, location-specific content, the nature of the competition, and probably other sites in a given company's portfolio. Hosting location is among these.

I wouldn't be surprised if Google considers availability of good hosting in a given country as one of the signals it looks at when weighing IP location.

whatson




msg:4366660
 8:41 am on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it is not a country specific domain name, e.g. its a .com, then changing the ip address to a different country can affect rankings. If you move it to the uk, then it will likely rank higher in google.co.uk, but probably not so well in the US.

In WMT though you can select what country it is you wish to select for the site. So depending on where you want your visitors to come from, then select the country.

If it doesn't matter what country the traffic comes from, then you likely just want the most traffic you can get. Therefore you would want it located in the US, and I would not suggest changing the host to the UK.

robzilla




msg:4366668
 9:22 am on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Don't forget about site speed either. If most of your visitors reside in the US, moving your site to the UK is likely to make it a bit slower on average.

incrediBILL




msg:4366718
 3:38 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised some people don't think the IP location makes a difference.

It didn't back in the day, but as Google ramped up their local search and improved on local results I'm pretty sure the server location became a factor weighting the results.

I had some global listings in a US-based .com, with some competition doing the same, that started to lose ground when Google improved their local results, and the local results were always truly local vs. a global .com type of listing.

I assumed the hosting location played a factor when it was a .com vs .com and not a .com vs .co.uk

YMMV

creative craig




msg:4366722
 4:05 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

At the begining of the year I moved Irish, German and Italian hosted sites to make a UK hosted global site and had minimal drops in natural search traffic.

I made myself a very detailed plan that I stuck to and things went very well.

9 months on and the traffic levels are up for this time of year.

sebastianzinke




msg:4366745
 4:46 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

IP does have impact on the rankings, though its minimal. Having said that, you should genereally go for dedicated hosting/IP to ensure you not associated with potential bad neighbourhood sites.

JAB Creations




msg:4366772
 5:31 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

- Products
- Services
- Speed

Those will all factor. If you're trying to sell widgets in America and your server is in Europe then to me that would seem a bit fishy though maybe a little less so from countries not notorious for online criminal activities.

If I was a search engine trying to help people find widgets I'd want to avoid sending them to a source that might charge them international shipping. I think it would require a human review on Google's part to know better...and how often has that been reported as happening in any circumstance here on the forums? I personally would give the thumbs down if I were at Google to waste time doing manual reviews for sites which the countries don't match, that would definitely be something the webmaster knows inherently.

You should stick to a server in the same country that you're selling your products and services.

- John

mark_roach




msg:4366786
 5:55 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have always hosted my 12 year old .co.uk site in the US mainly due to the cost. The same server with the same company would cost me twice as much if it were hosted in the UK.

I have a mainly UK audience and I rank far better in google.co.uk than google.com.

I am sure that if I hosted in the UK it wouldn't make my rankings any worse, but just how much difference might it make for a well established site ?

I can see how it might make a big difference for a new site but I am fairly certain Google knows all about my site and my target audience by now.

I am tempted to swap to UK hosting but it will be a pretty expensive experiment if it makes no difference.

superclown2




msg:4366822
 10:12 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's really simple.

Go to Webmaster Tools and tell Google which country the site is aimed at. It doesn't matter then if the server is on the moon provided that it's fast enough.

I've got sites on Australian and American servers (.com, biz, .ws, you name it) targetting the UK. They still do OK. For a major site though I make sure the server is in the country it's aimed at - you can't be too careful.

lexipixel




msg:4366828
 11:52 pm on Sep 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised some people don't think the IP location makes a difference.

It didn't back in the day, but as Google ramped up their local search and improved on local results I'm pretty sure the server location became a factor weighting the results.

-incrediBILL


I disagree. The phone number and address tied to that phone number are the key "local search" / Google Places factors.

I can demonstrate a small niche site with many, many #1 natural search rankings targeted specifically to a 10 mile radius of a New England town --- the server is in Utah. The site is less than 3 months old... it has only 2 inbound links -- and they come from servers in Utah too.

My suggestion is always -- Make sure the address and a phone number located within the geographic area you want to be found in are on every page of the site and you don't have to worry where the server (or IP address) trace to.

robzilla




msg:4366968
 12:14 pm on Sep 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can demonstrate a small niche site with many, many #1 natural search rankings targeted specifically to a 10 mile radius of a New England town --- the server is in Utah.

Same country, though. I'd say server location is largely irrelevant until you start crossing national borders.

johnnie




msg:4367186
 1:08 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

When you move your site to a server across the globe, it will adversely affect performance. So indirectly, I think it can affect rankings in the US space adversely, although you might see some compensations due to increases on the UK side.

shri




msg:4367230
 4:24 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know it is not applicable in most cases but we moved from a Hong Kong based setup to a US based setup and followed the following steps.

- Moved our *.hk domains first and saw no impact.
- Got our IP range swip'ed and it is now reported as a Hong Kong based IP range.
- Moved a couple of .com sites that rank well for HK and saw now problems.

Since you're moving to Linode, your move is a lot less risky as you don't have long term contracts. Ours is a multi-year colocation deal.

shri




msg:4367231
 4:27 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

>> When you move your site to a server across the globe, it will adversely affect performance.

If performance is such a concern, you really should be looking at a CDN to deliver static data as that is usually the bottle neck.

You can also look at some basic things like ensuring your common JS files like JQuery etc are loaded from community provided CDNs like Google etc.

CDNs are pretty cheap. We deliver through Softlayer and have a backup at Amazon. If you configure your CDN as an origin pull, you have redundancy and are paying only for bandwidth used.

tedster




msg:4367239
 5:21 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks, shri - good to hear from you and especially your experience moving to US servers for Hong Kong sites. If I were to have guessed, I would have thought the move would be problematic for rankings. Very good to hear it went without trouble!

zehrila




msg:4367278
 10:02 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think Language of website also matters, hosting a .hk site in local language on a US server would still rank you better in Google.hk, the only drawback would be the amount of hops between local visitor ip and your server.

From past few experiences, i have noticed that ip addresses do make a difference, e.g a .co.uk site hosted on UK ip might rank better in Google.co.uk compared to a site hosted on Russian IP.

creative craig




msg:4367284
 10:25 am on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would have thought the move would be problematic for rankings. Very good to hear it went without trouble!


In my experience a well thought out and structured plan is key - sound it out with another SEO or even developer for any problem areas is also a good idea.

Once you have your plan and your confident in it, stick to it!

shri




msg:4367539
 11:53 pm on Sep 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

tedster - it was a multi-month test and important for us that the IP range be swip'ed correctly to a HK address before we moved.

Our fallback plan is to have Squid instances acting as proxies should we see a drop in rankings. So far we've not had to use that option.

DirigoDev




msg:4367578
 2:06 am on Sep 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have experience moving sites from USA IP addresses to EU IP addresses and it helped with the SERPs. I'm convinced that the IP address plays some small role. My sites were always set correctly in GWT. And I was already using a global CDN.

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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