It is tempting to immediately buy the cheapest VPS that offers ample security, space, speed and features. However, it is also essential that you pay attention to where your servers are physically located. Physical location seems like it should not play much of a role in your site’s success, but it certainly does.
Optimal Connections Increase Rankings
If your primary readership or customer base is in the United States, choosing a server in Southeast Asia or Europe is probably not the best decision. Any problems with the ocean cables will immediately be reflected in the connectivity of your server. Additionally, the overall Internet traffic where the server is located will receive priority over foreign connections. Your users could experience slowness, frequent timeouts or “page cannot be reached” messages. Not only will this annoy your users, but Google and the other search engines will start docking your sites for it. That translates into lower rankings, because part of the algorithm that determines your rank is how fast your content loads for users.
A Bad Location May Undermine Brilliant SEO
Part of ensuring your meticulous SEO works as well as it should is attributed to where your server is located. A webpage hosted on a VPS located in a Florida datacenter that is intended for users in California is more likely to get a higher search engine ranking than one in Moscow. Pagerank algorithms compare IP address locations to geographically specific keywords like “California sushi” and “hotels in England and Scotland.” You can thank the spam and malware factories in certain parts of the world for the fact that location now plays a role in page rank, even if that role is often overlooked.
Many harmful sites and email servers dedicated to spam that target American or European audiences are located in the Middle East, Eastern Europe or Asia-Pacific regions. The reverse also applies. Spam and malware operations rarely set up in the countries or regions they target. No matter how well researched your keywords are or how relevant your content is, your rankings will probably not be as high as they otherwise would be if your server was in the same geographical location.
Getting a server in another country may save a little in the short-term. However, it could be detrimental overall in the long-term when your rankings refuse to rise or consistently drop because of server IP and keyword mismatches.