David Goldstein - For Geo-Targeting Google Uses ccTLDs or Search Console Settings, Not Server Location


    Where a server is placed has no bearing on search results, but the ccTLD or search console settings do. So said Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller in response to a question on whether the location of a server, whether it be in a different country or state, has any impact on search engine optimisation.

    “For geotargeting we use mostly the ccTLD or search console setting, so place the server where it works best for you,” said Mueller.

    There are some exceptions, such as the ccTLDs that are treated as generic top level domains, like .me and .co. Another asked how does Google treat multilingual websites. Mueller replied that “Different language versions [of websites] just need separate URLs; how you structure the URLs is up to you. (I’d keep it simple & usable for analytics).”

    Previously Google has used the location of the server in part as to how best to rank a website, but with the cloud becoming much bigger player, this has seen a tweak to Google’s indexing.

    So the ccTLD one chooses for their website is still important, but the location of the server is not. And it’s important to ensure the Search Console settings be adjusted to reflect where the website’s customers are.