I am in China and starting out. Does it matter if I get my site hosted in China? would it be better in the US or the UK ? will it affect the speed of the site ? Any advice gratefully received.
I would definitely use a .com/.net/.us for US traffic and host it in the USA. .co.uk for the UK and hosted in the UK etc etc.
It does make a difference where it is hosted. The search engines definitely take that into account.
What difference does it make where your developer is?
Thanks for straight answer Mark , and I like the developer where I can personally go in with layouts and any new kind of thing that I might like to have and discuss them, not important at all I know, maybe I am just old fashioned and maybe I like to think that he will at least be a little more careful of my account if he is within striking distance !
I meant as regards where the site is hosted.
I haven't dealt with this in about two years, so my advice may be outdated. From what I understand, if you want to rank better in the US search engines, you want hosting in the US. If you want to rank highly in the Canadian SERPs, you want hosting in Canada. It's not just about having a .ca or .com or .co.uk domain name.
Thanks for the input - This was also my gut feeling. There are a few good reasons for hosting it in China, not least that the site and the developer is 10 minutes from my house ! My 'plot' is to also regularly publish thorugh a few other sites, the usual suspects including HubPages, will these connections overcome the issue of getting it crawled by Google I wonder ?
Anyone else about who has info on this - what about our Indian friends, do you host in your own country or outside ?
Apart from worrying about the speed of the site, you need to consider the support from host provider.
Which audience you want to target ? US ? UK ? China ?. Depending on that you should get host from respective country.
Just curious, what are the hosting prices in china compared to US hosts ? Is it expensive or cheap ?
The audience is outside China - any English speaking I guess. The commodity is anything inside China that anyone outside might want, from travel to a real wok eventually.
I guess I should host in every country tht there might be a market and link the sites up in some way - it is making my head hurt
Hosting prices seem to be cheaper, I will put them up when I get that info later this week. The web design is also a lot cheaper and in some ways it would seem to be better, others not so good maybe. Web design is a very very popular University degree course in China anad so there are thousands and thousands of well educated and up to date developers out there. I am considering selling a few of them through the site maybe.
Well, I can't really help you, but if hosting country matters for traffic, this is a new one for me!
What about other permutation and combination - I have a .in domain, and host it on Hostgator (probably on US servers). I have a .net domain, hosted by an Indian service provider. Will the rankings and traffic affected in these cases - I would really like to know.
I use Hostdime.in for hosting and they provide a facility to host on either US or India based servers.
I am asking if it makes any difference - I just have a feeling that somewhere it matters I would have thought that physics would come into it regarding speed of the site when people open it, the distance must have some effect surely ? The other issue that lrohner raised is about page ranking by google.
Just bumping this to the top as a few experts seem to be coming online. Juat as I am going to bed I hope to see a string of answers here when I get up ? ? ? ?
OK then - last bump and then I will chance it
Where are them what might know this when you need 'em
I would avoid hosting in China or Russia, since both areas are where a lot of illigitimate websites are kept.
It don't honestly know with any accuracy if this does have any impact, but i have never seen a website which has been hosted outside of western europe or the United states/canada.
If costs are cheap you could always try and see, however US hosting is not particularly expensive, so it might be a better choice.
Also a website loads faster if it is in a country where visitors are from.
This is what I would have thought - but regarding the host country, how do you know where the wwebsite you are looking at is hosted ?
There are online tools that will convert a domain name or IP address to a geographic location such as:
I have often seen it stated that the originating host country does make a difference.
I dont know this for a fact as I have only used US based hosts and get primarily US traffic.
It is important that the host you use has stringent rules about what they host - cheaper hosts , which are often russian/chinese based are often said to not often be "good neighborhoods" - your site on a host that is considered a source of spam or pornography can damage you.
Source: Just regurgitating years worth of forum threads that I have read.
I am not sure that Chinese sources are so full of spam as you might think, and they have no pornography as the Chinese gov shut them all down recently. (maybe an infringement of freedom of speech principles but one that I agree with)
Where I think you may have a very good point is how the host is seen if it is based in China. The recent exit of Google worries me, - will Google downrate sites from Chinese sources, and as we know our Google rating is everything.
Maybe someone in the US or the Uk could google up a top chinese site to see what happens and whether it is ranked in google for me ?
which is where Iget my weather info every day - here it comes up in less than a millisecond and the homepage has massive use in China as a whole.
There are some sites which lets you find the location of datacenter where the server is kept or only to the location as per the information attached with IP.
whoishostingthis.com - let's you view the location of the host.
Firefox add-on : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10387
(Take accuracy with pinch of salt)
I live in Australia. I have hosting accounts in five different countries.
The idea is that I can link my sites and get a local (country) search listing.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is counter productive. This way you can build a site up, and often, in one country that is very easy to do.
You can set a websites target location in Google Webmaster tools, you don't need to have it located at the specific location.
Do you think this would get it over the issue of it being hosted in China ?
Google has its way to check neighborhood. If it becomes that easy to manipulate location then nigerian & russian spammers can do it easily.
If Google 'penalises' a site for not actually being in the country targetted then why are there country target tools in the Google toolkit ?
Although I suspect the point of you r post is correct.
5 top social networks in india are hosted in softlayer datacenter USA. So you can guess what the penalties are. None.
It is about targeted traffic and server performance & cost.
Russian sites still top google results for tech keywords so you can see that google doesn't assign penalty just like that by keeping political or geographical prejudice. Nigeria is the only country which got penalty AFAIK.
The top 5 social networks do not have to worry so much about SEO, in many cases they actively prevent webcrawlers from reading the content of their sites to prevent privacy concerns. The information that they do want to be searchable soon gets crawled, since the social sites generally have huge numbers of backlinks pointing towards various pages throughout their sites.
These sites are not private like facebook,orkut. Discussions appear on search results so no crawler blocking either.
Take example of blog network instablogs- which is hosted on rackspace.
Well Oli, that might be alright for you beginners but I am actually chasing the different ip class addresses.
I am sure you have heard of that!
Your knowledge of all things internet, judged by your responses in the forum, seems to be quite limited and repeated by what you have "heard".
You might want to direct your responses at newbies rather then responding to me.
Unless I am mistaken the class of an IP is not tied to a geographic location. A, B and C IP class addresses are available in any country. It is simply impossible to guarantee geographic location from an IP class, for example, there are 16,777,214 A class IP's and I can assure you they are not all in the same country.
The fact is, Oli's response is far more accurate than yours, but I am sure Oli will be along to help you out shortly.
Edit: It is possible to work out geolocation from an IP but the IP class does not play any part.
I do have a fairly simple knowledge of IP class addresses, but have never heard of them described as geo-locators.
However as far as I am aware the internet now runs on a Classless system where IP ranges are divied out to ISP's.
Some internal networks still use a classful system, where fixed IP's are mroe common and the classes can be used in some way to denote the structure of a business. However subnet ranges are still a far more effective and flexible solution.
(But of course my education in the IT and Computing field probably doesn't mean too much, what do I know?)
Thanks for all the help - I am going to start here and then put up sites in the countries that are target audience - and then link them all up. I think>
Good thing web hosting is relatively cheap these days. Multiple accounts could become costly, unless you have some way of making money through advertising on your website(s).
Also, if you are intending to make money through your website or setting up a business from it, there may be tax implications if your web hosting is in another country. I haven't looked into this too deeply, but it may be something to consider. This is partly why I chose to host my website in the country where I live.
I think that the country the servers are located in does matter for geo-targetting, but it probably doesn't have a huge affect, especially if you have a country specific domain suffix.
Apart from that, I guess there are good and bad hosting companies in every country.
Okay, a related question.
If I host a domain name on blogger.com, does it affect geo- targeting?
Where the site is hosted and your choice of domain can affect how your site ranks. A .co.uk or a .ca domain are specific in where their target audience is located, however a .com or a .net are not.
For example, a search engine should know that a .co.uk domain targets customers in the UK and geo-targeting from within webmasters tools is set to UK and cannot be changed. That said i would still move it to a UK server and ensure that the lang attribute is set up correctly and you use UK English throughout.
TLD's like .com or .net don’t give any inkling of the location of their target audience so search engines look at the IP address of the website to find out information about hosting. You can change this using webmasters tools but again I would still advise you to host in the country you aim to target.
A .com hosted in the US is likely to be excluded from google.co.uk results when the UK only filter is applied unless you at least tweak the geo-targeting in webmasters tools.
You can target a website to a country no matter where it is hosted.
However due to the amount of copyright infringement and spam from certain countries, they 'could' be considered bad neighborhoods for a website to be hosted in. This is of course a large generalisation, and I am not entirely sure how a chinese website hosted in China would perform, but I would definitely play it safe and host in the US if you are looking for western traffic.
While there might be a penalty for hosting a website in a country other than that in which it is targetted, I doubt it has any decent impact on SERPS.
Oh. Peter, not this again!
As for Oli helping me out. I doubt it.
So what your saying is I go to my Google Webmaster tools and sort it all out, that's all I need do is it? Just remember Peter, you have a reputation to uphold here, everything we say here is serped and your saying in your seo wisdom, go to your google webmaster tools to make website targeting.
Yep it's the facts again.
Read the previous posts what needs to be done has been covered.
I have already indicated you should move hosting to the country you wish to target and use geotargeting in webmasters tools.
My previous post was about IP Classes and what I was clearing up was that the Class of an IP plays no part in ascertaining geo location.
If there is some part of this you disagree with let me know.
That is a straight out bail. You know as well as I do about ip addresses and classes. You know just as well, as I do about mixing up different domains and that google webmaster tools simply does not do it.
You know as well as I do you need to have domains hosted on different accounts and in different countries to build any sort of network.
Having 50 domains on Hostgator and changing the details in Google webmaster tools simply does not make each 50 domains from or target a different country.
Seriously, this is basic stuff. And you tell me Oli will come and help me out.
Thanks for having this mini-argument - it is making the informtion much more clear - From this I understand that targetting a country through Google can be done, but directly hosting in that country is much more favourable for Google search Engine stuff and ranking, which after all is everything really ?
Or not ?
I have said that you should move hosting to the country you wish to target.
I have said that you should use webmasters tools to geolocate.
And I have said that the class of an IP has nothing to do with geolocattion.
I dont understand how acuratly repeating everything I have already said is a 'bail'.
Do you dissagree with anything above, if so please be specific so it can be adressed properly.
You replied by saying oli's response is more accurate then mine. Oli said making the changes in Google webmasters tool for geo targeting. I had previously stated you need to host in different countries.
You chimed in saying how oli was going to help me out and now your saying the exact same thing I did in the beginning.
Seriously, what are they putting in the water in Scotland. Do you argue just for the sake of it, or is that the Scottish way.
Nope, you said you were chasing different IP class addresses which has absolutely no bearing on geolocation, choosing who to host with, SEO, or the OP for that matter. And that is why Oli's response is far more accurate.
Obvious to me, but perhaps my explanation was unclear. I hope you see my point now and that my reputation has not been torn to shreds!
I have targeted US hosted .co.uk websites effectively to the UK, using only the domain and Google Webmaster tools. I have also done the same with UK hosted websites targetting the US with .com domains, albiet about seven or eight years ago.
While host country may have a bearing, I don't think it is anything severe.
I am not sure where the hostility is coming from Terry, or the derisory tone in which you refer to me. It is your choice as to whether you listen to me or not, however I have been doing IM for a long time now, full time, as a career, and have done a lot of research to reach that goal. If I can give an answer which has been directly confirmed by Google I will give it. If I can give an answer which is down to studies from independant sources then I will assume that there is a chance that their study could have been flawed in some way.
Very few of my answers run along the lines of what I have 'heard'. when i say some thing 'could' be true then it is because I have seen results from other webmasters which are verified by tests, or seem to run as a concensus among webmasters, but have not necessarily been verified by Google in the past year.
You can discount or use the information I give you as you wish, but I would like to know how you have attached IP Class to IP Geo location.
If you search for 'bridging loans London' on google.com HubPages makes an appearance near the top of page 1. If you do the same search on google.co.uk its page 4 before HubPages makes an appearance. If you choose to view pages with the UK only filter applied, the results from HubPages are completely excluded. This is typical of how non country specific TLD's hosted in the US are served up to UK searchers.
Given that a very large percentage of people in the UK use google.co.uk if you are targeting UK customers it makes sense to host in the UK. If you Target the UK using webmasters tools, you will still be excluded from the UK only results.
Country specific TLD's, .co.uk or a .fr for example, can be hosted anywhere, although as Oli pointed out earlier hosting in the country you target can speed up connection times for visitors from that country.
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