Does the IP address of your site’s server affect your rankings in search results page? According to some sources around the internet, your IP address is a ranking signal used by Google.
However does your IP address have the prospective to assist or hurt your rankings in search? Continue reading to learn whether IP addresses are a Google ranking factor.
The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor
Articles on the internet from credible marketing sites declare that Google has more than 200 “understood” ranking factors.
These lists typically consist of declarations about flagged IP addresses impacting rankings or higher-value links because they are from separate C-class IP addresses.
Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Fortunately, these lists sparked many conversations with Google workers about the credibility of IP addresses as ranking consider Google’s algorithm.
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The Proof Against IP Address As A Ranking Element
In 2010, Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a client’s site would be impacted by spammy sites on the same server.
“On the list of things that I worry about, that would not be near the top. So I comprehend, and Google understands that shared webhosting happens. You can’t truly control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”
Ultimately, Google chose if they did something about it on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would simply relocate to another IP address. Therefore, it wouldn’t be the most effective way to deal with the issue.
Cutts did note a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam websites and one non-spammy website that welcomed more scrutiny but restated that this was an exceptional outlier.
In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another previous member of Google’s webspam group, kept in mind that Google has the right to take action when complimentary hosts have actually been massively spammed.
In 2016, during a Google Web Designer Central Office Hours, John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s websites on the exact same c block of IP addresses was a problem.
“No, that’s perfectly great. So that’s not something where you artificially need to buy IP address obstructs to simply shuffle things around.
And particularly if you are on a CDN, then maybe you’ll wind up on an IP address block that’s utilized by other business. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things happen. That’s not something you require to synthetically move around.”
In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP modification with a different geo-location would affect SEO. He reacted:
“If you relocate to a server in a different location? Generally not. We get enough geotargeting information otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Browse Console.”
A couple of months later on, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad neighborhoods as a ranking signal and if a dedicated IP was needed.
“Shared IP addresses are great for search! Lots of hosting/ CDN environments use them.”
In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address location mattered for a website’s rankings. His reaction was merely, “Nope.”
A few tweets later, within the same Buy Twitter Verified thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered regarding backlinks. Mueller again responded with a basic “Nope.”
In June 2019, Mueller got a concern about Google Search Console showing a site’s IP address rather of a domain name. His response:
“Typically, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad concept. IP addresses are frequently temporary.”
He recommended that the user make sure the IP address redirects to their domain.
A few months later on, when asked if links from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:
“Links from IP addresses are absolutely fine. Most of the time, it means the server wasn’t set up well (we canonicalized to the IP address instead of the hostname, simple to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), however that’s simply a technical information. It doesn’t suggest they’re bad.”
In early 2020, when asked about getting links from various IP addresses, Mueller stated that the bad part was the user was making the backlinks themselves– not the IP addresses.
Then, in June, Mueller was asked what occurs if a site on an IP address bought links. Would there be an IP-level action taken?
“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is really common. Having some bad sites on an IP doesn’t make everything on that IP bad.”
In September, throughout a conversation about bad communities impacting search rankings, Mueller mentioned:
“I’m not knowledgeable about any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Take a look at Blog writer. There are great sites that do well (disregarding on-page constraints, and so on), and there are dreadful sites hosted there. It’s all the very same infrastructure, the very same IP addresses.”
In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Happiness at Google, shared a fun truth.
“Fun reality: changing a website’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can alter how fast and often Googlebot crawls from said site. That’s since it in fact discovers that something altered, which prompts it to relearn how fast and often it can crawl.”
While it’s intriguing information, it seems to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, naturally, required to rank, however crawling is not a ranking element.
In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if IP canonicalization could positively affect SEO. Meuller responded:
“Unless folks are linking to your site’s IP address (which would be unanticipated), this wouldn’t have any impact on SEO.”
Later in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks unusual when Google examines a link’s quality, Meuller stated, “Ip addresses are great. The web has tons of them.”
If you’re fretted about your IP address or hosting company, the agreement seems to be: Do not worry.
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Our Decision: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Aspect Any Longer
Perhaps in the past, Google experimented with IP-level actions against spammy websites. But it must have discovered this inefficient because we are not seeing any verification from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods belong of the algorithm.
Therefore, we can conclude in the meantime that IP addresses are not a ranking aspect.
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