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Why Geolocation Web-Hosting Matters, and How it Benefits SEO

What is Geolocation Web-Hosting?

Cloud Computing has opened up unprecedented avenues of online collaboration from any time, anywhere on earth. In this world without borders, considerations of geolocation of your data center seem insignificant and even counter-intuitive. However, geolocation web-hosting is still very relevant to SEO and very important for user experience.

How Geolocation of Your Website Affects Speed?

When a user loads or opens a website, it passes from the data center of its host to the user via a passage of interconnected networks which is known as the internet. To reach the user’s computer, the data is transferred via the fastest, most-efficient path of networks within the internet.

While a lot of networks have started using fiber-optic cables that are capable of transferring data approximately at the speed of light (3 x 10^8 m/s). If the data travels with that speed, for every 1000 kilometers traveled, the user might only experience a 10 milliseconds delay which is negligible in user experience.

Impact of Geolocation Web-Hosting on Speed

Geolocation of your website’s server directly affects the speed of your website. The closer your visitors are to your website’s data center, the faster your website loads for them.

The time a server takes to receive and process a request from a visitor is known as its latency. In cases where the server is located on a different continent from the user, latency is known to increase and affect page load time adversely.

Some facts about website speed you must know:

  • 1-second delay in page load time can cause a 7% decrease in the conversion rate of your e-commerce website. [1]
  • 40% of the visitors will abandon your website after 3 seconds.
  • Firefox research showed that a 2.2-second improvement in Page Speed will lead to a 15% increase in conversions.[2]
  • Amazon calculated that a page slowdown of just 1 second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.
  • Google has calculated that by slowing its search results by just four-tenths of a second, they could lose 8 million searches per day – meaning they would serve many million fewer online ads.[3]
Did you know that HostGator India has tied up with GPX, the first company in South Asia to secure a Tier IV design certification? HostGator India’s Host In India Promise means 30x lesser latency than if hosted internationally – among all the other benefits of hosting locally including low latency and quicker load times.


Impact of Geolocation Web-Hosting on SEO

In a Google Webmaster Help thread, Google’s John Mueller said the below in response to a question about SEO and server location:

“For search, specifically for geotargeting, the server’s location plays a very small role, in many cases it’s irrelevant. If you use a ccTLD or a gTLD together with Webmaster Tools, then we’ll mainly use the geotargeting from there, regardless of where your server is located. You definitely don’t need to host your website in any specific geographic location — use what works best for you and give us that information via a ccTLD or Webmaster Tools.

Q: Is the server location important for geotargeting?

A: If you can use one of the other means to set geotargeting (ccTLD or Webmaster Tools’ geotargeting tool), you don’t need to worry about the server’s location. We do, however, recommend making sure that your website is hosted in a way that will give your users fast access to it (which is often done by choosing hosting near your users).”

HostGator India users can opt for hosting both in the US and in India depending on where your target audience is located. There is zero difference in the configuration of the servers and the services given to customers in both the US and India.

Although from Mueller’s answer it appears at first that server location doesn’t affect the SEO of the website directly. However, upon reading the last lines carefully, he clearly says that choosing a web-hosting near your users gives them faster access to your website. And as we know that response time is a crucial factor for SEO, we can safely infer that geolocation of your server directly impacts SEO.

Google considers page load speed of a website to be of paramount importance for search engine rankings as faster load time of a website ensures better user experience. Therefore, IP geolocation and server location are vital considerations for a website to improve its chances of ranking on SERP.

Summing Up

  • The Physical location of your website’s data center directly affects your website speed.
  • The loading speed of your website affects your performance on Search Engine results.
  • With local hosting, you can make hassle-free payments in your currency.
  • Every time an Indian user opens your site they will face a lot less lag and have a lower latency if your server is located on Indian sub-continent.

[1] https://blog.kissmetrics.com/loading-time/

[2] https://blog.mozilla.org/metrics/2010/04/05/firefox-page-load-speed-%E2%80%93-part-ii/

[3] https://www.fastcompany.com/1825005/how-one-second-could-cost-amazon-16-billion-sales

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