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Impact on SEO of changing IP address from US to UK

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

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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.
9:29 am on Sept 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not sure about SERP impact, but I remember Cutt answering the same question with something along the lines of "the site needs to be hosted in the same country as it targeted visitors". I can't find the link, even if I did, not sure it would still hold true as it was 2+ years ago.

My advise, go with your targeted visitors. If the site is global, look into analytics and see who are the most visitors with conversions, not just total visitors.

My 0.02 cents
9:52 am on Sept 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Regarding the Matt Cutts video, I posted this about three weeks ago here... [webmasterworld.com...]

In the following video, Matt Cutts isn't emphatic about it, but, as I read the video, it's a recommendation to host in the geo-targeted country if you can....

Can the geographic location of a web server affect SEO?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keIzr3eWK8I [youtube.com]
10:12 am on Sept 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I moved a site from US-based hosting to the UK a couple of years ago, yet roughly 90% of my traffic still comes from America. I always thought it would impact rankings, but it hasn't.

I think if you also add localised meta data as well, then it would have an effect. I haven't done that, which is probably why I'm still getting loads of organic US traffic through search.

EDIT: Interesting idea as well - does the way you spell things affect traffic localisation? For example, would using American-English spelling cause you to rank higher in the US, whereas would using British-English spelling make you appear higher in Google's UK searches..?
4:32 pm on Sept 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google considers multiple signals when determining the geo target for a website. One signal is the IP address of the hosting server, but there are other factors which include the IPs of the people who visit the site, and most importantly (as far as I can tell) the IPs of the sites LINKING to your site. Check the localization of your link base with Blekko and check where your visitors come from in analytics to help you make a decision about the impact of moving your hosting to the UK. Those are two strong signals to Google about your site's localization. Keep in mind that if your target is the US and you move hosts to the UK you will suffer from longer page load times for US visitors which can impact ranking and conversion.
3:46 am on Sept 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Moving hosting across the pond will not necessarily create longer load times.

Light travels insanely fast. What can slow it down is the number of 'hops' through different routers, and the speed of your hosting company's server. I've seen some servers/ip's in the states with insane routing, ridiculous numbers of hops and they are much slower than reaching a site in the UK that has a more direct route and fast servers.

The intercontinental lines are all fiber these days, your data is transferred insanely fast.

Play around with traceroute and you will soon discover that geographic location and distance is not what matters. You may be in LA and trying to reach a site in Texas and the fastest route might be through NY and CH!
4:03 pm on Sept 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi, I moved .com from US to UK IP to target UK serps. I went up around 8 places in the serps.

I am a firm believer in hostin sites in specific geographic locations that I want to rannk for.
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