SEO

Is Your IP Address A Google Ranking Factor?

There's a lot of evidence online that Google's search algorithms take your IP address into account. But is that correct?

Old stories and advice, such as the one below from Brian Dean, would lead us to believe that your server’s IP address has an impact on your rankings.

Why not, I mean? If your server only serves porn, gambling, or Viagra, wouldn’t it make sense to blacklist it?

s it, however, a myth?

One might think that if Google blacklisted the server, it wouldn’t be much of a help because SEO black hats could simply move their server. But it would devolve into a never-ending game of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Read Why Owning a Home is Actually a Bad Investment.

That, along with the evidence we’ll provide below, explains why SEO professionals are getting mixed signals here. The truth about IP addresses as a ranking factor is discussed further below.

The Claim: IP Addresses As Ranking Factors

Things can get murky in the SEO community when it comes to IP addresses as a ranking factor. And it’s difficult to know who to believe or what to believe.

The term “bad neighborhoods” sparked the idea of using IP addresses as a ranking factor.

Bad neighborhoods are based on the assumption that if you use shared hosting, your IP address is shared with all of the other sites on the same shared server.

This means you could be sharing a server with 5, 20, 100, 1,000, or even 20,000+ other websites.

Does it matter if you share a server with 499 other websites that discuss porn?

Do you need a dedicated IP address? Or how about cloud hosting?

Let’s look at the evidence.

The Proof Of IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Is IP Address Considered A Ranking Factor?

Matt Cutts of Google provided an answer to this IP address question back in 2003.

His response:

“I really wouldn’t worry about it that much.”

However, later that month, Kaspar Szymanski, Google’s Search Quality Strategist, tweeted:

As you might expect, this caused some consternation in the SEO community. Google published a blog post in June 2011 about protecting users from malware hosted on bulk subdomain services.

Then, in July 2011, Google banned an entire subdomain,.co.cc, due to the host’s unusually high number of spammy sites.

Finally, when asked a similar question about IP addresses on Twitter in 2018, Google’s John Mueller put this to rest.

Mueller’s response was simple and direct:

As a result, we can assume that this was a ranking factor in the early 2010s. But that is no longer the case.

Does the location of the server affect SEO?

Will your SEO suffer if you host your site in the United States but move it to a server in Brazil?

Mueller responded to this question on Twitter, writing:

If you move to a server in a different location? Usually not. We get enough geotargeting information otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Search Console.

Do IP Addresses Have an Impact on Link Building?

Many SEO professionals believe that the server location and various C-Class IP addresses can improve ranking.

To be honest, if you’re considering this in relation to your link-building strategy, you’re not doing link building correctly.

WANT PROOF?

Mueller responded in a Google Hangout with a simple “no.”

He continued, saying:

“That is not something where you need to artificially buy IP address blocks to just shuffle things around. And especially if you are on a CDN, then you will end up on an IP block with other companies as well. Or if you are on shared hosting then these things happen. That is not something that you need to artificially move around.”

Is it better to have a shared IP, a dedicated IP, or cloud hosting for SEO?

It makes no difference whether you have a shared IP, a dedicated IP, or cloud hosting for SEO.

Mueller responded to this question about dedicated IP and SEO on Twitter.

The Use of IP Addresses as a Ranking Signal: Our Opinion

Your IP address has no effect on your rankings, at least not any longer.

The general consensus is that you should spend your time improving the performance and content of your website.

Need help with our free SEO tools? Try our free Website ReviewerOnline Ping Website ToolPage Speed Checker.

Learn more from SEO and read 10 Advanced SEO Techniques & Tips You Should Know.

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