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.
But does your IP address have the potential to help or harm your rankings in search? Continue reading to learn whether IP addresses are a Google ranking aspect.
The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Aspect
Articles on the web from credible marketing websites claim that Google has over 200 “understood” ranking elements.
These lists frequently consist of declarations about flagged IP addresses affecting 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 staff members about the validity 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 group, was asked if the ranking of a client’s site would be impacted by spammy websites on the exact same server.
“On the list of things that I worry about, that would not be near the top. So I understand, and Google comprehends that shared webhosting takes place. You can’t really manage who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”
Eventually, 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. For that reason, it would not be the most efficient way to deal with the concern.
Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam sites and one non-spammy site that welcomed more scrutiny but restated that this was a remarkable outlier.
In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another former member of Google’s webspam team, noted that Google can act when totally free hosts have been massively spammed.
In 2016, throughout a Google Web Designer Central Office Hours, John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s sites on the very same c block of IP addresses was a problem.
He responded to:
“No, that’s perfectly fine. So that’s not something where you artificially require to buy IP address blocks to just shuffle things around.
And especially if you are on a CDN, then possibly you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s utilized by other companies. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things occur. That’s not something you require to artificially move around.”
In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a various geo-location would impact SEO. He reacted:
“If you relocate to a server in a various area? Normally not. We get enough geotargeting details otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Search Console.”
A couple of months later, Mueller responded to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad areas as a ranking signal and if a devoted IP was needed.
“Shared IP addresses are fine for search! Lots of hosting/ CDN environments utilize them.”
In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address area mattered for a website’s rankings. His response was simply, “Nope.”
A few tweets later on, within the exact same Buy Twitter Verified thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered concerning backlinks. Mueller once again reacted with a basic “Nope.”
In June 2019, Mueller received a concern about Google Search Console revealing a website’s IP address instead of a domain. His answer:
“Typically, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad concept. IP addresses are typically short-lived.”
He suggested that the user ensure the IP address reroutes to their domain.
A couple of months later, when asked if links from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:
“Hyperlinks 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, easy to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), but that’s simply a technical detail. It does not suggest they’re bad.”
In early 2020, when inquired about getting links from various IP addresses, Mueller said 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 website on an IP address purchased links. Would there be an IP-level action taken?
“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is actually common. Having some bad sites on an IP does not make everything on that IP bad.”
In September, during a conversation about bad neighborhoods affecting search rankings, Mueller mentioned:
“I’m not familiar with any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blog writer. There are terrific sites that do well (disregarding on-page constraints, and so on), and there are horrible websites hosted there. It’s all the exact same infrastructure, the exact same IP addresses.”
In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Joy at Google, shared an enjoyable reality.
“Enjoyable truth: altering a website’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can change how fast and frequently Googlebot crawls from stated website. That’s because it in fact detects that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how quick and often it can crawl.”
While it’s interesting information, it appears to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, obviously, required to rank, but crawling is not a ranking factor.
In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if IP canonicalization might favorably impact SEO. Meuller responded:
“Unless folks are connecting to your website’s IP address (which would be unexpected), this wouldn’t have any impact on SEO.”
Later on in December, when asked if an IP address rather of a hostname looks uncommon when Google assesses a link’s quality, Meuller stated, “Ip addresses are fine. The internet has tons of them.”
If you’re worried about your IP address or hosting business, the consensus appears to be: Do not fret.
Get More Google Ranking Element Insights.
Our Decision: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Aspect Any Longer
Perhaps in the past, Google explore IP-level actions against spammy sites. But it needs to have found this inadequate due to the fact that we are not seeing any verification from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad communities belong of the algorithm.
Therefore, we can conclude in the meantime that IP addresses are not a ranking element.
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