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Hosting location doesn't seem to influence the search results !

7:44 am on Jun 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My website www.example.com is hosted in North America. The development and marketing of this website is done in India.

Now, when we query Google.com in India this website shows up within top 10 rankings for a range of highly competitive keywords .

On the other hand when I try to check the rankings in Google.com (United States) with the help of the Adwords ad preview tool, i do not find my website within the top 500.

Being a US hosted website, this looks very strange to me.

Looking forward to your comments


1:58 pm on June 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google considers other factors besides the hosting location. For example, do most of the visitors to your site live in India? Also, are most of the other sites that link to yours based in India?

I suspect that it's difficult for any site to rank high in the SERPs in two different countries simultaneously, especially very big countries like India and the U.S.

6:33 am on June 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have seen many websites that rank well across many countries. The website in question itself ranks extremely well in India and Ireland (even though it is hosted in US)

It may not rank in any other country but being a US hosted website, I had expected it to be found somewhere within the top 100 atleast.


7:28 am on June 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've generally observed that US rankings are more competitive than rankings in other countries, but that then leaves the question of why all of the top results in the US aren't also top results in India.

Google does consider host location, but, as aristotle suggests, Google looks at other factors as well. I would ask the same questions he asked... where are your backlinks from, and is there anything in your site that would suggest it's intended for an audience in India (or Ireland)? If the content is geo-neutral, then the backlinks might loom very large for this site.

I'd also ask is there anything about the terms you're targeting that might cause Google to localize them in some way?

We've got another discussion going on right now, taking a slightly different angle on the question you're asking, and that discussion is suggesting by implication that a .com is more geo-neutral than a regional TLD, which is one of the points you're making....

Optimising for global search consistency on regional TLDs

The discussion also cites a video by Matt Cutts that seems to support your feeling that a US server location should help rankings in the US, but, IMO, there's also plenty of room in the wording he uses to suggest other localization factors....

What impact does server location have on rankings?

Matt's conclusion, with my emphasis...

...we absolutely do try to return the most relevant result for each user in each country, and server location in terms of IP address is a factor in that.