How Host Location Affects SEO

So far, we have done a factor by factor analysis of how every aspect of a website affects its SEO and ranking. While some have a profound impact on SEO and SERP rankings, others are a bit more forgiving. But recently, we were reminded of the effect, the location of the hosting company can have on the way Google looks at a website. 

We happened to stumble upon an article by an SEO publisher, renowned for its weekly column titled Ask an SEO. Every week, the column answers top questions about search engine optimization.

So without any further delay, here are the insights from the article that delves deeper into the impact hosting location can have on SEO and your reputation with Google.

Q1: Given the geographical business focus, does the location of the host make a difference?

Well, the answer to this question lies partially in the article on CDN that we posted a few months ago.

The location of your hosting company can impact your organic ranking. The first impact is on:

Site Speed

As detailed in this article, closer the datacentre of the host is to the user, faster is the speed, and better the user experience.

For a local business, it is invariably advisable to use a local datacentre that helps the website load quickly.

Incongruence between Business Location and IP of the Site

No concrete data supports the use of server location as a ranking factor but, the IP address of a site does impact its rankings.

For instance, consider a business based in Malaysia that has a domain name. If its web server and its IP address are located in Europe, or the United States, Google would figure that out, and any issue due to this is unlikely.

However, if you have a .com domain or, one without the .my country code, the site rankings could potentially drop, be held back, or gain higher rankings in Europe or, in the United States instead of, in Malaysia.

It is thus recommended to make an extra effort in finding the right hosting service in the geography where the business is based.

Q2: Does Google have a preference for certain hosting providers like GoDaddy? One can find only some of the hosting providers while the rest are clubbed as ‘Others’.

This refers to the Google process to verify a domain property in the Google Search Console.

Well, it is a fact that Google does have a list of companies to connect with, to verify your site by adding a DNS record.

The more common domain registrars make it to the list that you see. But, this does not mean that the lesser-known registrars have a negative reputation with Google. Or, that availing their services will negatively impact the site rankings.

To Sum It Up…

While you can rank higher by making use of a locally available hosting service, with a local IP, and by providing a superior user experience, the service provider or the domain registrar’s popularity has little impact on your site rankings.



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