Did you know that where your site is hosted can influence where your site ranks in a search engine?
Why your hosting package affects your search rankings
Google’s goal is to help people find content that’s relevant to them. According to John Mueller, a senior analyst at Google Switzerland, most people prefer content written in their own language. That’s why Google shows different search results to people in different regions.
For that reason, the search engine algorithm considers the location of your hosting server when it decides where to rank your site. That means your site is more likely to rank well in the region that your server is located. If you’re depending on search engine optimisation for acquisition, it’s a good idea to consider using a server in the country that you’re targeting your website at. For example, you might choose to host your USA site in the USA, and your UK site in the UK.
Location based domains
Using localised domains is a much debated topic. Having a ‘.com’ URL and redirecting it to the country of your choice is great for search, but so is using a location based domain. This can improve your search ranking in a specific country, and increase the level of trust that consumers from that area place in you.
As an example, use ‘.com.au’ for an Australian site, ‘.co.za’ for a South African site, or ‘.ie’ for an Irish site.
By submitting your site to the Google Webmaster Tools portal, you can find out how it’s performing and how to improve it. This will also tell the search engine algorithm which country or region is the primary focus for your website. Read this post from Google on how to set geographic targets to find out more.
It’s also worth noting that a number of UK hosting websites actually have hosting servers outside the UK. If you want to find out what country your website is hosted in, use Check-Host
If you have any questions about how to improve your search strategy, get in touch with the Partner team.