Does my hosting location affect SEO?

Posted by Richard Denver on 19 Jul 2021

Hosting Australia

In today’s crowded internet space, it is not enough to have the most beautiful looking well designed website. In fact the majority of websites that rank well in search, are not necessarily the most beautiful websites, rather the most piratical websites with an emphasis on SEO and providing a user friendly experience with a slimmed down sales funnel.

It is well known in the industry that Google doesn’t provide a copy of their search ranking algorithm, however over the years many of us in the industry have run tests to reverse engineer some of the major factors considered by their search engine to help our clients improve their search results.

It is well known in the industry that Google doesn’t provide a copy of their search ranking algorithm, however over the years many of us in the industry have run tests to reverse engineer some of the major factors considered by their search engine to help our clients improve their search results.

So when it comes to location it is best if you understand a little history to determine the impact of your website hosting location.

Back in the early days of web in Australia .com.au top level domains (TLD) were managed by Melbourne University and getting access to a .com.au domain was not an easy feat. This was the same across the world with exception to the .com TLD. Due to this many online businesses opted for a .com domain which was quick and easy to purchase and the requirements to buy them were minimal. You have to remember back then Altavista was king of search and SEO existed however we didn’t call it SEO we just refereed to it as improving our search ranking.

Back in the early days of web in Australia .com.au top level domains (TLD) were managed by Melbourne University and getting access to a .com.au domain was not an easy feat. This was the same across the world with exception to the .com TLD. Due to this many online businesses opted for a .com domain which was quick and easy to purchase and the requirements to buy them were minimal. You have to remember back then Altavista was king of search and SEO existed however we didn’t call it SEO we just refereed to it as improving our search ranking.

In 2000-2001 Google started incorporating both the user IP addresses and website hosting IP addresses to improve search results. The former was used to determine which country you were in thus determining the results that should appear in your search results. For example if you live in United States and an Australian bank with a .com extension existed the chances are that’s not what you were looking for. However if you lived in Australia it was very relevant even though it did not have a .com.au extension.

As time went on getting a .com.au name became easier and many of the companies that had originally adopted a .com started to realise the search benefits of having a more localised TLD’s.

As time has moved on, the use of the where the website is located still remains relevant. In the mid 2010’s Google started to take into consideration how long a site takes to load across a multitude of devices to determine ranking. This means if your website is hosted in the US or India and an Australian visits your site via Google it will take longer to load the website hence it would be penalised in search results compared to locally hosted websites.

So sites that run quickly and smoothly are more likely to achieve higher search engine rankings, but this is only possible when hosted with a quality hosting providers as how often the website has outages is also a factor.

So, hopefully I have provided you with enough information to better understand the importance of choosing a domain and hosting it locally. Whether you run a shoe shop or one of thousands of different types of business, where you are located versus the audience you are trying to get in front of is vital to your success as a business.

Want to know where your website is hosted? Check out our free Hosting Check tool.