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Does Web Hosting Server Location Change affect SEO?

     
7:34 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Dear Friends, My website hosting server location is US. My website is UK Based. I do not use CDN for my website. UK Website Traffic is not coming on my UK Website. Should I do for my website?
8:37 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Where are your backlinks coming from?
11:26 am on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It definitely depends mostly on your backlinks. Server location probably does count towards your rank but it is one of over 200 signals and not very powerful. Having a .co.uk domain would help more IMO.
9:25 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It definitely depends mostly on your backlinks

If that's true, then a competitor might be able to sabotage your site by creating a lot of backlinks to it from the "wrong" country.
9:36 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hello web_vizion and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

To help the Search Engines recognise where your audience should be you can use a Contact page with your complete business address using <H> tags, even if you are not a walk-in type store or business, this will definitely establish where you are located.

Also, the the <HEAD> section of your Contact, or any page, you can add Geo Location tags [geotags.com]

By letting the SEs know where you are located, it should help in getting your pages included in search for those users, especially Local Search.
9:50 pm on Aug 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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aristotle, most likely Google would only be looking at links above a certain "quality" threshold, which might affect the economics of what kinds of links your competitors might want to build for you.

Also, why would additional links, say from Outer Mongolia, reduce a site's rankings in google.co.uk? Would Google be looking at percentages, or would it simply not count the Outer Mongolia links toward the UK rankings?

There's a lot the OP hasn't told us yet, btw, about the age of the site, whether it's a ccTLD, whether there are any inbound links at all, what kinds of links, what quality and relevance of content, etc, etc.

12:32 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Slightly off-topic, but I'd like to add a word of warning about International Targeting in Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools).
I have, in the past, set the "Target users in" option to my principal targetted audience, however in my experience, this setting simply demotes the site in the serps for any users located outside the targetted country, rather than give any boost in the targetted country.

Just in case, anyone was tempted.
5:56 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@glitterball - good point. I learned early to leave that setting alone. This really needs to be more explicit on Google's end.

Then to get in Local Search as well as get my target audience in general searches, I use the Contact info & Geo Tags mentioned above.
6:54 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Don't worry if... you are getting backlinks from UK based websites but...If you are getting backlings frm US based websites then It is a problem of traffic.

If you have dedicated IP address for your website then shifting your server won't hurt your rankings but minor.
7:10 pm on Aug 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi williamjeffrey and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

If you have dedicated IP address for your website then shifting your server won't hurt your rankings but minor.
You don't need a dedicated IP address to get global indexing or global traffic.
12:21 pm on Aug 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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To help the Search Engines recognise where your audience should be you can use a Contact page with your complete business address using <H> tags, even if you are not a walk-in type store or business, this will definitely establish where you are located.
I agree that the use of localized content within a site, including things like addresses, phone numbers, and specific localizing contextual references (mention of landmarks, holidays, etc) would help suggest local presence. Of these, I agree that a local business address is likely to be most important.

What I'm compelled to disagree with strongly, though, is the suggestion that <H> tags are the proper markup to use to raise the importance of an address, or of any arbitrary chunk of text content. .

Heading or <H> tags are not a magic bullet that automatically will make what they surround more "rankable". Over the years, they've been so misused that many feel they've been completely deprecated.

I myself feel that headings might help on a page that's well structured and properly marked up with headings and related content that more or less "outlines" a document's organization for search... or might help someday if the site is otherwise trusted and well organized. As there's an eventual hope that html5 sections will be implemented, I've tended to recommend considering hierarchical section markup within pages on new sites. I don't see how an address by itself, though, is enough to establish that kind of structure.

I have used with some apparent success markup that's specifically intended for addresses, which is the schema.org address markup. I don't think it will compensate for geo-irrelevant backlinks, though, as I'm very much suspecting the setup described by the OP might be.

Additionally...
...you can add Geo Location tags...
I'm sorry to disagree again, but Google does not support Geo Location tags. The tags may be useful for other private applications, but not for Google geo-search. I felt it important enough to double-check this and provide a reference.

Are Geo-Location meta tags recognized by Google
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/elVxvuZxIBw

This is the answer marked best by JohnMu...
Note that we do not use locational meta tags (like "geo.position" or "distribution") or HTML attributes for geotargeting. While these may be useful in other regards, we've found that they are generally not reliable enough to use for geotargeting.

...should help in getting your pages included in search for those users, especially Local Search.
Local search is not really international search, and it has its own elaborate and constantly evolving algorithm, but it's focused mostly on street addresses within cities, not on distinctions of international borders. We discuss it briefly here, and link to the major reference on the topic...

2017 Local Search Ranking Factors
https://www.webmasterworld.com/local_search/4844636.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I don't think Local Search really has much to do with this question.

3:07 pm on Aug 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Is the domain .uk or .co.uk or org.uk? If it is then I doubt that hosting location will make any difference. Case in point, we host in a data centre in France and it makes not one jot of difference to us. The site is a .co.uk. If, however the site was a .com, then I would think it may be more significant where it is located.
8:14 pm on Aug 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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That's really hilarious about Google. When they were speaking (relatively) clearly, which means at the times of Matt Cutts, I well remember that Google was saying server location was a very minor signal. Since that time, I made some experiments on that, moving my websites to and fro different CDNs, targeting specific countries in GWC, and so on. Believe it or not, your server location is, especially for a not-still-well-established domain, still an important factor, these days. I can't really figure what sense this means in todays' globalized world; yet it,in my experience, it is still a factor (together with many others, such as your business address, your backlink profile, and your site's main language) which can strongly influence your ranking in G's SERP for any given country's audience,
Nevertheless, time is (possibly) on your side. It took Google a couple years to start shifting one of my websites' traffic from an Italian (server and business location) to an US-based audience, given that most links and citations were coming from the United States. Traffic levels are relatively unchanged, yet Google has clearly changed its idea about what audience that specific site targets, despite where its server is actually located.
9:04 pm on Aug 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google does not support Geo Location tags
And yet it was Google itself that suggested I used Geo Tags some years ago when they first launched their Google Maps Business Listings.

So possibly they no longer consider this tag (thanks for that info) having found more efficient means of determining location, but at one time they certainly did. Of course that was at a time when they would answer emails. I even had a rep telephone me several times :)