SEO Tip #36: What impact does server location have on rankings?

Matt Cutts: Well, way, way back in the dawn of Google it was funny because people would rank in different countries based only on the tld, .fr meant you were French but that’s all that they knew.

Back in 2001-2001 type time frame we started to look at where a server was located, it’s IP address to say, “Well it doesn’t end in .fr but it is located in France according to its IP address so maybe this is really useful for French users.

So that’s the primary way you have an impact that it has an impact on Google’s rankings. If you’re just in the United States, your site is in the United States, you’ve never been outside the United States, you might never notice any of these factors.

But where your sever is located, whether it’s in the US, France or Germany, or Brittan, Canada, or anywhere else, it can determine our rankings. For example if you go to and type in “bank” you’ll get different results than if you go to and type in “bank” or and you type in “bank.”

We do absolutely try to return the most relevant results to each user in each country and server location in terms of IP address is a factor in that.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.