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Host overseas - SEO



5:09 pm on Jun 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i read this:

Did you know that the country where you host your website can affect your Google ranking? If someone searches for your website in China and your website is hosted in China, then your Google ranking will be higher than if your website is hosted in the United States. You already know that search engine optimization can affect your website traffic, so itís really important that you consider your audience before choosing a web host. If you sell most of your product in another country, consider hosting in that country as well.

i really love this host that is in the UK (i am USA) and want to host there...will it hurt SEO?


8:50 pm on Jun 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

You might want to read Google's page about how they customize search results based on the geographic area of the user

The hosting location can impact rankings but it is one of many factors that Google looks at. Some businesses that target the US market prefer an overseas host due to legal reasons.


9:27 pm on Jun 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The best performing site I have got is a small .uk one hosted on a server in the USA. The truth is, I have no idea why it performs so well but it has held the number one position here in the UK over several months for a very nice phrase with only a tiny number of incoming links. So maybe the geographical location does affect ranking but I don't worry about it too much.


9:35 pm on Jun 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

ok well on that link it seems to be saying they first go by the domain (.com .de, etc..) but that you an add some sort of override if you want to. not clear if you can add multiple?

like if - else if - else ....etc


5:18 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Place the site where your target audience is. "Loving a host" doesn't sound like a valid reason to host the site overseas.

If you do host it in the UK but your target audience is in the US, then at least specify that in the Google Webmaster Tools.


5:53 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

my target is actually about 50/50 us and western Europe...

i wasn't clear if you could specify both or multiple. ...

but i get your point, and in this case...not really about love so much as the app i am hosting and the specialized support for it that are hard to come by at many other hosts (even if the host is very good otherwise)


7:52 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Things have changed a lot this past year with Google and its attemtps with geo-targeting and especially how it treats TLDs and gTLDs and especially so a .com hosted outside of the US.

Since 1994 I have a UK hosted .com that has ranked at the top of most search engines since the mid 90s and mostly ever since Google was under beta testing. In the last few months I have had to upload an almost duplicate copy of the site to my .co.uk site since G has definitely fallen out of love with many .com sites in the UK.

I have also had to 301 an entire UK .com customer's site to its .co.uk since it had effectively been downgraded in the G.co.uk SERPs.

For my .co.uk site that is gaining nicely in the UK SERPs and is ranking back where the .com used to be. For my customer's site it has recovered completely PLUS the referrals are much better now with the majority being UK visitors.

Some posters have written similar stories about their widget sector whereas some have seen no discernible difference therefore YMMV!


8:24 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"had to 301 an entire UK .com customer's site to its .co.uk "

can you explain? do you have a sort of dummy site (e.g.: .co.uk)and the public sees .com but google sees both?


10:01 am on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

can you explain?

Quite simple. This site was originally constructed on a .com in 1999 and did well until this last 12 months when it started losing SERPs positions for seemingly no reason.

I watched those SERPs and realised more and more .co.uk site were taking over from .coms therefore we bought the .co.uk name, uploaded the entire site to the .co.uk, once the .co.uk had propagated I 301d the .com to the .co.uk and removed the entire .com site, that's how it remains.

This way it still retains all the benefits of old directory listings, links etc without having to ask anyone to change their sites.


10:56 am on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having written that it's not the answer you are seeking.

I assume you want to host a .com in the UK? I have quite a few domains all running under a mixture of .com/eu/uk/cn/in/asia/etc and all hosted in the UK.

They all do well in the markets they represent, the .in does especially well because English is a subsidiary official language and is very widely spoken and used at many levels, especially business.

The .coms single-biggest traffic sources have always been the US with about ~40% of overall traffic, in comparison the UK is about ~5% of the overall traffic.

Is this a well-established .com site already ranking well? If so I doubt you would have many on-going ranking issues in the US however a new .com launched from the UK may find it very slow to gain a foothold in the G.com SERPs.


11:06 am on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

HuskyPup, did you lose rankings in the transition process? Did the move pay off?


1:49 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

did you lose rankings in the transition process? Did the move pay off?

Both moves paid off.

I now have an almost duplicate of example.com running on example.co.uk and that's gaining in traffic every day from G.co.uk. Example.com in G.com has kept steady and only affected by an Italian scraper which copied my original site (the one now running on example.co.uk) and which I have been totally unable to do anything about...its running on an Italian server under a .eu

The UK site on a .com which now has everything under the .co.uk has regained all its former positions and has better traffic than ever...this I put down to it being a .co.uk with G's geotargeting working in its favour.

Interestingly it's made absolutely no difference in Bing, the UK.com was doing well in that and has been a straight replacement.


3:17 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

HuskyPup, thanks a lot. I am sorry if I am hijacking this thread a bit, I am just thinking about making a similar move, so your input is very valuable to me.


3:33 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

do you have some sort of multi-shop with 2 sites feeding same database 9like magneto can)?


5:48 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)


Are you asking me?

I have loads of my own B&M sites constructed over the last 18 years, all of them are hand-built in a text pad except for a couple of Coppermine galleries which are the only sections hit by Panda/Penguin for some reason.

Every site I construct is self-contained these days, a few years ago I used to use an image depository for all sites until I had a major outage and every site lost all their images!

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