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Does Google take the location of the servers of your web hosting into account? And if so, which location is the most suitable? And is hosting in Belgium a plus for your Google SEO?
When ranking the results of a search query, Google will always try to give the most relevant possible result, also geographically. Because it makes little sense to mention the address of the baker from Bruges who sells ‘rye bread with currants’ when the user who enters this query is located in Kempenland.
On the other hand, the user can also search on location: with his search query, he has filter options for example to select “only pages in Dutch” or “only pages in Belgium” (or for Dutch users: “only pages in the Netherlands”).
So, location indeed plays a role when it comes to the SEO of your website.
Google relies on several factors. If it is a website with a country code domain name (.be, .fr, .nl), Google will automatically assume that this website is located on Belgian, French or Dutch territory, or that it focuses on users from these countries.
With generic domain names such as .com, .org or the many new domain extensions such as .bike, .xyz or .app, Googles bases itself on the IP address of the server, an indication of the country where the server is located. Google also assumes that the webmaster chooses a hosting and web server that is located as closely as possible to the country of his target audience. Furthermore, Google also considers the clues in the content of the site, contact details, content snippets, backlinks, etc.
In each of these cases, you can also use the Google Search Console to indicate on which country your website specifically focuses.
Yes and no.
Local hosting in Belgium or its neighbouring countries has the additional advantage that you may assume that the hosting companies in these countries respect the rules of privacy and data processing of the GDPR, that have been applicable in the entire EU since 25 May 2018. Something that is not always the case with overseas hosting!
If your company focuses on users in different countries, you can make this clear to Google in different ways:
Tip: Provide a translation of the content in the desired language – Google does not consider this duplicate content and will not penalise you for this. And do not forget to use proper language Meta tags that allow Google to know in which language the content is written (<html lang="en">)
(For more tips about international SEO, please read "How to optimize your website for other countries" and "Getting started in international SEO")
A quick loading time is important for the user experience of your website visitors. This again has a large impact on your ranking. With these tips, you create a quick website:
For your ranking in the search results of Google, the location of your web server is particularly important as it affects the loading speed of your website. Choosing good quality web hosting is therefore essential!
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