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Server Location can have a big impact on your Google Rank

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by CardiffDesigns, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. CardiffDesigns

    CardiffDesigns Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    Hope you're having a good day.

    I own a Web Design / SEO company in the UK and I currently manage a few hundred different websites which are hosted on a variety of different types of servers in a variety of different locations around the world.

    From what I have read online, the general consensus appears to be that server location doesn't influence Google rank that much, but page load speeds and server response times do influence Google rank...

    This week I needed to migrate some of my websites from a shared server in London, to a VPS server based in Texas. Some of these websites targetted people in the United States and some of them targetted people in the United Kingdom.

    I use Serpbook to track the rank of the websites targetting people in the UK on Google.co.uk and I do the same for websites targetting people in the US on Google.com

    After moving the websites from the shared server in London, to the VPS server in Texas, I found that ALL the websites targetting people in the UK dropped about 10-20 places on Google.co.uk. I also noticed a SIGNIFICANT improvement in Google ranking for all the websites that targetted traffic in the United States.

    This change in rank can't be anything to do with server response times or page load speeds because both performance metrics improved on the websites targetting UK based traffic when they moved from the shared server in London to the VPS server in the United States. In fact... The ping times were incredibly fast on the new VPS compared to the old shared server, which means I should have seen an improvement in rank on the UK targetted websites if server response times and page load speeds were more of a factor in Google rank than server location.

    Obviously I panicked as soon as the ranks dropped, so I have since moved all the UK targetted websites back to UK based servers and I'm happy to say that all of them have returned to roughly where they were ranked before.

    Surely all this can't be a coincidence?

    I'm not saying that this is any kind of conclusive evidence because it's a very small sample of data, but in SEO we are always looking to gain every advantage possible and I feel that this indicates that Google certainly do take server location into account when they rank websites.

    Web Hosting is so cheap these days, that you can host websites anywhere in the world for a very low cost. I think it's really important that you should try and host your website in the same country as your target market, because it looks like Google is starting to take server location into account.

    I just wanted to share my experience with you guys, because I have read everywhere that server location does not impact Google rank that much, but I have seen first hand that server location does appear to have quite a big influence on your rank.
     
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  2. RuthSam

    RuthSam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    It's to early to say anything about your ranking because of the switch! I have done the opposite of what you did just now and the ranking increased shortly after just to go back to what it was before. When I started SEOing the site it start climb up to the top.
     
  3. CardiffDesigns

    CardiffDesigns Junior Member

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    I understand what you're saying mate, but I feel this is too much of a coincidence to not have any substance to it. 7 of the websites I migrated held rock solid positions on page 1 of Google for their main targetted keywords. All of those websites held strong positions on page 1 of Google for over a year without hardly any major movement in SERPS. 4 of them were targetting traffic in the UK and 3 of them were targetting traffic in the US.

    When I switched server location from London to Texas... All the websites targetting UK traffic dropped 10-20 places on Google, whilst all the websites targetting traffic in the United States jumped in Google rank significantly.

    Furthermore...

    The websites targetting US traffic have held their improved rank since moving to the new server location in Texas, whilst the websites targetting UK traffic only got their rank back when I moved them back to the server location in London.

    All this seems like too much of a coincidence to me.