Does the IP address of your website’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.
But does your IP address have the potential to assist or hurt your rankings in search? Continue reading to find out whether IP addresses are a Google ranking factor.
The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Aspect
Articles on the web from credible marketing sites declare that Google has more than 200 “known” ranking aspects.
These lists typically consist of statements about flagged IP addresses impacting rankings or higher-value links since they are from separate C-class IP addresses.
Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Fortunately, these lists sparked numerous discussions with Google employees about the validity of IP addresses as ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
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The Evidence Versus IP Address As A Ranking Aspect
In 2010, Matt Cutts, previous head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a client’s website would be affected by spammy websites on the same server.
“On the list of things that I fret about, that would not be near the top. So I understand, and Google understands that shared webhosting takes place. You can’t truly control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”
Ultimately, Google decided if they did something about it on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would simply move to another IP address. For that reason, it would not be the most efficient way to tackle the problem.
Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam sites and one non-spammy website that welcomed more analysis but restated that this was a remarkable outlier.
In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another former member of Google’s webspam group, kept in mind that Google can take action when complimentary hosts have been enormously spammed.
In 2016, during a Google Webmaster Headquarters Hours, John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s sites on the same c block of IP addresses was an issue.
“No, that’s completely fine. So that’s not something where you artificially require to purchase IP address obstructs to simply shuffle things around.
And particularly if you are on a CDN, then possibly you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s used by other companies. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things take place. That’s not something you need to synthetically move.”
In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP modification with a various geo-location would affect SEO. He responded:
“If you move to a server in a different location? Normally not. We get enough geotargeting information otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Browse Console.”
A few months later on, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad neighborhoods as a ranking signal and if a devoted IP was essential.
“Shared IP addresses are fine for search! Great deals of hosting/ CDN environments use them.”
In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address area mattered for a website’s rankings. His response was just, “Nope.”
A couple of tweets later, within the very same Buy Twitter Verification thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered regarding backlinks. Mueller once again responded with an easy “Nope.”
In June 2019, Mueller received a concern about Google Browse Console revealing a site’s IP address instead of a domain name. His answer:
“Typically, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad idea. IP addresses are frequently short-lived.”
He suggested that the user guarantee 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. The majority of the time, it implies the server wasn’t established well (we canonicalized to the IP address rather than the hostname, easy to fix with redirects & rel=canonical), but that’s just a technical detail. It doesn’t imply 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 happens 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 truly typical. Having some bad sites on an IP does not make everything on that IP bad.”
In September, during a conversation about bad neighborhoods impacting search rankings, Mueller specified:
“I’m not familiar with any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Take a look at Blog writer. There are fantastic websites that succeed (neglecting on-page restrictions, and so on), and there are terrible websites hosted there. It’s all the exact same facilities, the very same IP addresses.”
In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Joy at Google, shared a fun fact.
“Enjoyable truth: 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 because it actually detects that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how fast and often it can crawl.”
While it’s fascinating details, it seems to effect crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, of course, needed to rank, however crawling is not a ranking factor.
In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if IP canonicalization could favorably affect SEO. Meuller replied:
“Unless folks are linking to your site’s IP address (which would be unexpected), this would not have any result on SEO.”
Later in December, when asked if an IP address rather of a hostname looks unusual when Google examines a link’s quality, Meuller stated, “Ip addresses are great. The web has lots of them.”
If you’re worried about your IP address or hosting business, the agreement appears to be: Do not stress.
Get More Google Ranking Factor Insights.
Our Verdict: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Aspect Any Longer
Perhaps in the past, Google try out IP-level actions versus spammy websites. However it should have discovered this inefficient since we are not seeing any verification from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods are a part of the algorithm.
For that reason, we can conclude in the meantime that IP addresses are not a ranking aspect.
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