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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Is hosting a site in a "wrong" country bad for SEO?

    Hello folks,

    I recently started a site whose target audience is in Canada. My web hosting company (and the servers) are in the US. Can that kind of arrangement have a negative impact on the SERPs? Aside from yelling out geographic names like Toronto, Edmonton and such I don't see how google can determine the geographic target. There is a way to tell Google where the target audience is based in the webmaster tools but I don't know what that will do for the rest of the world. There are visitors from other countries who are relocating to Canada and looking for daycare centers also.
    Last edited by LauraDC; Jan 7, 2008 at 12:13. Reason: Please change SEO toi SERPs in the title
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  2. #2
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    It will only affect you in country specific search.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    It will only affect you in country specific search.
    You mean when someone uses google.ca instead of google.com, or when someone types in a country as a keyword?
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  4. #4
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraDC View Post
    You mean when someone uses google.ca instead of google.com, or when someone types in a country as a keyword?
    when someone uses google.ca instead of google.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    when someone uses google.ca instead of google.com
    That's no good Do you suggest I move the site somewhere else or should I wait and see what happens. My worry is that when google sees the site In the US for a year then it will give it a permanant location. Chances of that happening are low, but who knows. I already paid for one year's hosting unfortunately.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  6. #6
    Non-Member Waraas's Avatar
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    Is the domain a .com?

    If it just the servers than it wont matter, I have had servers in canada and the UK and they all come up fine in the USA serps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waraas View Post
    Is the domain a .com?

    If it just the servers than it wont matter, I have had servers in canada and the UK and they all come up fine in the USA serps.
    Yes, it is. I checked my logs a few minutes ago and it seems like there is a healthy balance between hits from google.com and google.ca. I was just wondering if it would be better to have it in the right place.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    It is better to have it in the right place but it isn't that important. When your hosting is up move to a server located in Canada. In the meantime, I wouldn't think twice about it.

    Also, I think you can set the geo-location of your website in a Google Webmaster account. I don't usually worry about this so I don't have much information about it. But you should check it out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Also, I think you can set the geo-location of your website in a Google Webmaster account. I don't usually worry about this so I don't have much information about it. But you should check it out.
    Yes, I'm aware of the geo-location tool in the webmaster tools. The problem is it will not help by yahoo or MSN rankings. Also, I'm not sure how hard-coding a location will affect out--of-country SERPs. There are many people who are relocating to Canada from other countries and that worries me.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  10. #10
    Non-Member Waraas's Avatar
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    Try using a dns service, it does not matter where the server is, it matters where the dns is.

    dnsmadeeasy.com is what I use, they have dns server all through the USA.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waraas View Post
    Try using a dns service, it does not matter where the server is, it matters where the dns is.

    dnsmadeeasy.com is what I use, they have dns server all through the USA.

    Thanks for the link, Waraas. I will definately look into it.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  12. #12
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waraas View Post
    Try using a dns service, it does not matter where the server is, it matters where the dns is.

    dnsmadeeasy.com is what I use, they have dns server all through the USA.
    Um, yes it does. They use the IP address of the physical server. Not the nameservers.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Um, yes it does. They use the IP address of the physical server. Not the nameservers.
    OK, well, that's an interesting turn of events . So, is previously mentioned solution not going to help with this dilemma?
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  14. #14
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraDC View Post
    OK, well, that's an interesting turn of events . So, is previously mentioned solution not going to help with this dilemma?
    No, it won't. If you really want to maximize your SEO in the google.ca move to a Canadian host. I don't think it is worth it at this point but it is your decision.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    No, it won't. If you really want to maximize your SEO in the google.ca move to a Canadian host. I don't think it is worth it at this point but it is your decision.
    I'll give it some time. I already paid for the whole year, so might as well use the US host for now. Thanks, stymiee.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  16. #16
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    I did some investigation on this; here is something interesting:

    when I execute "kanata day care centre review" in google.ca I get found on the first page (5th overall). But, and here is where the problem comes in, when I select "show pages from Canada" flag I get nothing. That surprised me to say the least.

    I thought google.ca was searching Canadian index by default. It turns out that (.ca) is just an extention. To get Canadian listings only, one would still have to instruct the engine to do so manually - which is a great news as I seldom never use that feature.

    This explains why I'm getting a mixture of queries from .ca and .com.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  17. #17
    Non-Member Waraas's Avatar
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    What I ment by using a dns service is that they will have dns servers all around the world (or a nation), that will serve your website faster.

    Your servers IP has nothing to do with searches, whether you have a server in russia, canada, or the US. Its all myths.

    If you have a .ca, that will somewhat effect the search. But as you can see in your test search, it showed both .com and .ca.

    So dont worry at all, I have had plenty of servers in canada and my results haven't changed at all.

  18. #18
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    Hosting location does matter, and it matters a lot.

    If you have a .com hosted in the US and someone searches gogole.com.ca and selects pages from canada, your site will not show up.

    Example: My Dads site - (i'm trying to get him to move it) He targets the UK

    go to google.co.uk and search for alwoodkitchens (just keep it on the web for this one) You will see alwoodkitchens.com come up no 1
    now, select pages form the UK - it disappears. (because google views it as being targeted for the US)

    He targets the UK, his contact page says the address in the UK

    Now - Someone try and tell me hosting does not matter!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by briggidere View Post
    Hosting location does matter, and it matters a lot.

    If you have a .com hosted in the US and someone searches gogole.com.ca and selects pages from canada, your site will not show up.

    Example: My Dads site - (i'm trying to get him to move it) He targets the UK

    go to google.co.uk and search for alwoodkitchens (just keep it on the web for this one) You will see alwoodkitchens.com come up no 1
    now, select pages form the UK - it disappears. (because google views it as being targeted for the US)

    He targets the UK, his contact page says the address in the UK

    Now - Someone try and tell me hosting does not matter!
    I'm aware of this issue. The good thing is that it doesnt matter when someone is searches from google.com or google.ca. What matters is if the visitor selects to "show pages from canada". In that care my site will not show up. I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that most people bypass the specific country selection. If that's the case, I'm find. Otherwise it's a big problem.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  20. #20
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    yes, but do you know the stats on how many people select this option, and for wht type of search.

    For general information and research, i imagine a lot of people will just go with pages from the web, but for a purchase or a services type search, more people are likely to select pages from (local country)

    It would be good to get some stats on this. Anyone have any?

    Edit: Just done some searching and found that in Australia, around 50% of people search with "pages from australia" on ecommerce sites, so it seems quite high.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by briggidere View Post
    yes, but do you know the stats on how many people select this option, and for wht type of search.

    For general information and research, i imagine a lot of people will just go with pages from the web, but for a purchase or a services type search, more people are likely to select pages from (local country)

    It would be good to get some stats on this. Anyone have any?

    Edit: Just done some searching and found that in Australia, around 50% of people search with "pages from australia" on ecommerce sites, so it seems quite high.
    Believe me, I'm not happy about this. I like my ISP and that's why I decided to go with them. I already paid for a year. Once that elapses I will move. Right now I'm getting an equal amount of traffic from .ca and .com. If anyone has some stats to see how many people are using the geo coding then please post them in this thread.
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  22. #22
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    ok the way to get some data here is to analyse some data.

    You need to find someone who has a .com site hosted in Canada, who has tracking in place to see the referrers.

    Search&meta=cr%3DcountryCA - this will be at the end of the google referral for people who have selected pages from canada.
    Search&meta= - this is the web referrals who searched the web, not pages from etc

  23. #23
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    even where the person in Canada uses google.com

    Their results will be strongly biased towards sites that signal , in a technical way, that they are affiliated with Canada

    So if 2 sites are competing

    Would it not be natural for google to show a preference to show the site that

    has Canadian IP

    has Canadian suffix (tld) .ca

    has canadian content

    The site which tics the most boxes, all other things being equal, will problably win.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by centime View Post
    The site which tics the most boxes, all other things being equal, will problably win.
    There is no such thing as all else being equal Unless you fully copy my site, list it everywhere I did ...
    godaycare.com - Canadian daycare listings with reviews
    Parenting and Child care Forum - Canadian child care forum

  25. #25
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    If you can host it in country that you target i would.


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