Is hosting my site in the UK a mistake

11 replies
I am about to launch my site about business, motivation and internet marketing. It is aimed at the US / rest of world.

I am based in the UK. The site's dot com domain is registered with a UK registrar.

Will it do any harm if I host the site on servers in the UK rather than the US where most of my visitors will come from?

By harm I mean impact on SEO, site displaying noticeable time dealys etc.

Is there anyone here who knows about these matters, able to advise.

Many thanks.

(One advantage of hositng in the UK is I have some legal recourse if things go wrong.)
#hosting #mistake #site
  • Profile picture of the author garyogden
    doesnt make any difference mate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave d
    I think it will make a difference but how much difference is questionable. You can always use your Google webmaster tools to set your target preference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Peters Benn
    It does make a difference, and in certain circumstances is essential. Read up on Trust Rank...

    Regardless of what people might say or think, we have been locating our servers on purpose for years because no matter what Google really does under the hood, we get better rankings with appropriate locations...
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    • Profile picture of the author John_Pearce
      Originally Posted by Steve Peters Benn View Post

      It does make a difference, and in certain circumstances is essential. Read up on Trust Rank...

      Regardless of what people might say or think, we have been locating our servers on purpose for years because no matter what Google really does under the hood, we get better rankings with appropriate locations...

      Steve's right - it definitely DOES make a difference. If you want to see the effect, you can get a great plugin for Firefox called Google Global here: Google Global Firefox & Chrome Extension - Addon For Search Marketers To View Google Search Results From Any Location - Redfly Online Marketing, Dublin, Ireland

      With that plugin you can perform the same Google search as if you were in the USA even though you're in the UK. Compare the results. You will see results in the UK for example, favour UK companies, results from a search in the US favour US-based companies. For an example, try a search for Make Money Online and look at the ranking for the Cambridge Business Academy. They are a .com site, but hosted in the UK. Their ranking is higher for a search based in the UK (even if using Google.com not .co.uk) than for a search from someone in the US.

      I learnt htis the hard way! Put your hosting account where your main market is.

      JP
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      • Profile picture of the author inter123
        I have been targeting the UK market but the servers are with Hostgator in the US. By setting the site to target the UK through Google Analytics, it does end up ranking for the UK and the US. But it takes a number of weeks for the setting to take effect though.

        In the long run I think hosting in the US will help but only a few precentage points, you might end up ranking a couple of positions in the SERPS, say instead of 6th you may be 4th.
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  • Profile picture of the author lokodomain
    I am in the same dilemma and have found that my site always tends to rank higher in the UK serps than USA. But over time they tend to catch up in the US serps. If I could start again I would choose US hosting plus there seems to be better priced deals as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Here is the better question. If it only costs $7.95 per month to put it on Hostgator in the USA, and increase your rankings even one or two spots, is it worth it?

    You're right, it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author mclauchlan
    Spot on advice from Mr. Kent above. I host with Hostgator and they don't compare with UK hosting companies.

    One other point to note is that you have to comply with the relevant legislation of the country that you host with, although for most people this does not have a major impact.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    Makes no difference as far as I can tell. I experimented with moving a UK targeted site with a .co.uk extension that was hosted in the US to a UK server. No difference in rankings. Of course it might be different the other way around.
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    • Profile picture of the author John_Pearce
      Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

      Makes no difference as far as I can tell. I experimented with moving a UK targeted site with a .co.uk extension that was hosted in the US to a UK server. No difference in rankings. Of course it might be different the other way around.

      I can't explain that, but yes it makes a difference in general. Maybe with the .co.uk extension that identifies you to Goolge as a UK site irrepsective of where your server is.

      That is not true of .com. If you do some experimentation with the Gooble Global plugin for Safari (see post #6 in this thread) you'll see very different positions for UK and US based websites and CambridgeBusienssAcademy.com is a great example for a competitive keyword like 'Make Money Online'. They rank higher in the UK than in the US. It's just a fact, and I can only think that's because they are hosted in the UK. It makes a difference. Google seems to prioritise local sites and we all know search results are location dependant.

      Now, to be fair, maybe Google is tracking something else like "whois" address, but others have made the point above: if there's any doubt, then go for hosting in your primary market, particularly when there are so many good hosting solutions. That's what I would (and do) do!
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