Is IP Address A Google Ranking Factor?

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Does the IP address of your site’s server affect your rankings in search results page? According to some sources around the web, your IP address is a ranking signal used by Google.

But does your IP address have the potential to help or hurt your rankings in search? Continue reading to discover whether IP addresses are a Google ranking aspect.

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Articles on the internet from trusted marketing sites claim that Google has more than 200 “known” ranking elements.

These lists often include declarations about flagged IP addresses impacting rankings or higher-value links since they are from different C-class IP addresses.

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Thankfully, these lists triggered various discussions 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, previous head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a customer’s website would be impacted by spammy websites on the exact same server.

His action:

“On the list of things that I fret about, that would not be near the top. So I understand, and Google understands that shared web hosting takes place. You can’t really control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”

Ultimately, Google decided if they took action on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would just relocate to another IP address. For that reason, it would not be the most effective method to deal with the problem.

Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam sites and one non-spammy site that invited 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 act when totally free hosts have been massively spammed.

In 2016, during 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 an issue.

He answered:

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

And particularly if you are on a CDN, then maybe 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 occur. That’s not something you need to artificially walk around.”

In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a various geo-location would impact SEO. He reacted:

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

A couple of months later, Mueller responded 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 area mattered for a site’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 regarding backlinks. Mueller again responded with a basic “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller got a question about Google Search Console revealing a site’s IP address rather of a domain name. His response:

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

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:

“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 fix with redirects & rel=canonical), however that’s just a technical information. It does not imply they’re bad.”

In early 2020, when asked about getting links from different 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 typical. Having some bad sites on an IP does not make everything on that IP bad.”

In September, during a conversation about bad areas impacting search rankings, Mueller stated:

“I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blog writer. There are terrific sites that do well (overlooking on-page restrictions, etc), and there are terrible websites hosted there. It’s all the very same infrastructure, the very same IP addresses.”

In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, shared an enjoyable fact.

“Fun truth: altering a website’s underlaying facilities like servers, IPs, you name it, can change how quick and often Googlebot crawls from stated website. That’s because it really spots that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how quick and often it can crawl.”

While it’s interesting details, it seems to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, obviously, required to rank, however crawling is not a ranking element.

In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if IP canonicalization might positively affect 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 in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks unusual when Google evaluates a link’s quality, Meuller specified, “Ip addresses are fine. The internet has tons of them.”

If you’re fretted about your IP address or hosting business, the agreement seems to be: Do not fret.

Get More Google Ranking Factor Insights.

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

Possibly in the past, Google explore IP-level actions versus spammy sites. But it should have discovered this inefficient due to the fact that 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 for now that IP addresses are not a ranking aspect.

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