[Doubt] Does Google consider SERVER LOCATION as a ranking factor?

Aniket Roy

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Say I work for a company whose target audience resides in the US. But the company is based outside of the US (India in my case). Now, I take extra precautions to avoid giving Google any signal that would make it identify my target audience wrongly. I even avoid building links on websites with a TLD of .in , even if they have the highest of DA and pass on the link juice.

But, for better convenience in operation, our web hosting providers are local and their servers are also located in India itself. To avoid any delay in page-load time, I've implemented a CDN(cloudflare) as well. So that, our actual audience outside of India may be able to access our pages instantly, overcoming the 'Server-Location' problem.

But, all of this is for the users only. The bot possibly does not understand any of this and depends on factors which are clearly visible to it.

So, even after taking every possible measure to avoid identifying India as our target country for web results, is Google still likely to prefer India just because of the 'Server Location' ?
 

nSnoopy

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From my experience when i moved my website from Netherlands to US, my website started picking up lots of keywords from english speaking countries and traffic too.
 

Nekronomikon

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Aniket Roy

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From my experience when i moved my website from Netherlands to US, my website started picking up lots of keywords from english speaking countries and traffic too.
but isn't that a hopeless logic? according to google, if only my server is based in India, I should serve just the local audience :D?
thanks for the clarification though!
 

industryplant

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I’m almost positive server has a lot to do with ranking. Just like I’m almost positive it’s harder to rank sites from servers in much smaller, poorer 3rd world countries.
 

digitalgeckos

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If you target Canada go with Canadian hosting.
If you target global go with cloud, any, preferable USA as mostly will be from there in many cases.
 

Aniket Roy

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I’m almost positive server has a lot to do with ranking. Just like I’m almost positive it’s harder to rank sites from servers in much smaller, poorer 3rd world countries.
but a CDN also serves the purpose to some extent doesn't it?
 

industryplant

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but a CDN also serves the purpose to some extent doesn't it?

I would think so since everything with google is about authority, and rating. I’m sure google has everything on the net ranked all the way down to the CDN’s. Maybe a server, and CDN based in a major 1st world country would help you. It would be an interesting experiment for yourself.
 

nSnoopy

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It is very sad, but yes... Google is that stupid so server location also plays in rankings...
I don't think it's "stupid", it kinda make sense just think about it.
As an internet user from Europe when visiting an website from India i would most likely have to wait over 10 seconds for the page to fully load, it would not be same when visiting an website hosted on Europe where i would get the page loaded altmost instantly so it's only natural for website speed/location to be an important factor in Google's eyes.
This is just my opinion based on my experience with my current website that was ranking for roughly 30 keywords in USA(server being in the Netherlands) and after i switched to USA server i get a big jump now reaching over 150 keywords :)
 

Aniket Roy

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As if Google knows where my website is hosted behind Cloudflare.
that's where I'm stuck. changed my hosting provider from GoDaddy to a local one a few months back. satisfied with the services but been observing an increase in traffic from India since then, without making any extra efforts
 

Seoanytime

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Yes, it affects unless you are using a .us (ccTLD), which in your case you are not. So what might help you is using the language parameter, like "lang=en-us" in your case. Also, in the international targeting in your Google Search Console set the target country to "United States".
Also, try:
1) Linking to local websites.
2) Backlinks from local websites.
Hosting on a US server obviously solves all these problems.
 

Aniket Roy

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Yes, it affects unless you are using a .us (ccTLD), which in your case you are not. So what might help you is using the language parameter, like "lang=en-us" in your case. Also, in the international targeting in your Google Search Console set the target country to "United States".
Also, try:
1) Linking to local websites.
2) Backlinks from local websites.
Hosting on a US server obviously solves all these problems.
Thanks for the help. I've already set the target country as US in search console. now, i will try building links on some local websites.
 
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