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Hosting location not important

Michelle of Shel Designs added an article to her latest newsletter about where your domain name is registered. She states that where your domain name and hosting are located are not important for your site’s ranking. In fact, she writes “Where it is registered or hosted will not affect the way Google (and other search engines) rank your site.”

I have had clients advised to change their registration and hosting to improve their rankings and it really annoys me when I know they could improve rankings easily in other ways instead of paying a lot of money to move without benefit.

The only ways I think hosting affects a website are:

  • great distances between a site visitor/user and the server can make it a little slower. So hosting a .com.au site in Australia or New Zealand would make no significant difference but hosting in the USA might load a little slower
  • time zones can make it harder to get assistance
  • a drastic event near the server can impact a distant site even though the event wouldn’t otherwise impact on it. For example, when the tsunami hit Asia a few years ago, a number of cables were disturbed under the sea. If your site connected to its server via those cables it may have been unavailable whereas an Australian server connection wouldn’t have been damaged. Obviously, this isn’t a frequent occurrence.

Next time someone tells you to move your website, remember that a reputable distant server/host is better than a close one you don’t know or trust. And it really doesn’t matter where you register your domain name, other than for your pocket (there is a huge variation in registration fees.)

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