Is IP Address A Google Ranking Element?

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Does the IP address of your website’s server impact your rankings in search engine result? According to some sources around the internet, your IP address is a ranking signal utilized by Google.

But does your IP address have the potential to assist or harm your rankings in search? Continue reading to find out whether IP addresses are a Google ranking factor.

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Articles on the web from credible marketing websites claim that Google has more than 200 “understood” ranking elements.

These lists frequently include declarations about flagged IP addresses affecting rankings or higher-value links because they are from separate C-class IP addresses.

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Luckily, these lists sparked various conversations with Google staff members about the credibility of IP addresses as ranking consider Google’s algorithm.

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The Evidence Versus IP Address As A Ranking Factor

In 2010, Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam group, was asked if the ranking of a client’s website would be impacted by spammy sites on the same server.

His response:

“On the list of things that I worry about, that would not be near the top. So I comprehend, and Google comprehends that shared web hosting happens. You can’t actually control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”

Eventually, Google chose if they took action on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would simply move to another IP address. Therefore, it wouldn’t be the most effective way to deal with the problem.

Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam websites and one non-spammy website that welcomed more analysis however restated that this was a remarkable outlier.

In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another previous member of Google’s webspam team, noted that Google deserves to act when complimentary hosts have been enormously spammed.

In 2016, throughout a Google Web Designer Central Office 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.

He addressed:

“No, that’s perfectly fine. So that’s not something where you synthetically require to buy IP address blocks to just shuffle things around.

And specifically if you are on a CDN, then possibly you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s utilized by other business. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things occur. That’s not something you need to artificially walk around.”

In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a different geo-location would affect SEO. He responded:

“If you move to a server in a various location? Usually not. We get enough geotargeting info otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Search Console.”

A couple of months later on, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad communities as a ranking signal and if a dedicated IP was needed.

“Shared IP addresses are great for search! Great deals of hosting/ CDN environments use them.”

In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address location mattered for a website’s rankings. His response was simply, “Nope.”

A couple of tweets later, within the exact same Buy Twitter Verification thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered concerning backlinks. Mueller again reacted with a simple “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller received a question about Google Browse Console revealing a site’s IP address instead of a domain name. His response:

“Usually, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad idea. IP addresses are frequently short-term.”

He suggested that the user guarantee 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 definitely great. Most of the time, it implies the server wasn’t established well (we canonicalized to the IP address instead of the hostname, simple to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), however that’s simply 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 occurs if a website on an IP address bought links. Would there be an IP-level action taken?

“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is really typical. Having some bad websites on an IP doesn’t make everything on that IP bad.”

In September, during a discussion about bad areas affecting 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 excellent websites that succeed (neglecting on-page limitations, etc), and there are dreadful websites hosted there. It’s all the same facilities, the very same IP addresses.”

In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, shared a fun truth.

“Fun reality: altering a site’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you call it, can change how fast and often Googlebot crawls from said website. That’s because it in fact discovers that something changed, which prompts it to relearn how fast and often it can crawl.”

While it’s interesting info, it seems to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, of course, required to rank, however crawling is not a ranking factor.

In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if IP canonicalization might positively impact SEO. Meuller responded:

“Unless folks are linking to your site’s IP address (which would be unexpected), this would not have any result on SEO.”

Later on in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks unusual when Google evaluates 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 company, the consensus seems to be: Don’t stress.

Get More Google Ranking Aspect Insights.

Our Decision: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Aspect Any Longer

Perhaps in the past, Google explore IP-level actions against spammy websites. But it must have found this inadequate since we are not seeing any confirmation from Google agents that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad areas belong of the algorithm.

Therefore, we can conclude in the meantime that IP addresses are not a ranking aspect.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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