Is IP Address A Google Ranking Element?

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

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

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Aspect

Articles on the web from respectable marketing websites claim that Google has more than 200 “known” ranking aspects.

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

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Fortunately, these lists triggered various discussions with Google staff members about the credibility of IP addresses as ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

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The Evidence Versus IP Address As A Ranking Factor

In 2010, Matt Cutts, previous head of Google’s webspam group, was asked if the ranking of a customer’s site would be impacted by spammy websites on the same server.

His response:

“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 truly control who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”

Ultimately, Google chose if they acted on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would just transfer to another IP address. For that reason, it wouldn’t be the most efficient method to take on the issue.

Cutts did note a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam sites and one non-spammy site that invited more scrutiny however reiterated that this was a remarkable outlier.

In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another previous member of Google’s webspam team, kept in mind that Google has the right to take action when free hosts have actually been enormously spammed.

In 2016, during a Google Webmaster Headquarters Hours, John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s sites on the exact same c block of IP addresses was a problem.

He answered:

“No, that’s completely great. So that’s not something where you synthetically require to buy IP address blocks to simply shuffle things around.

And especially if you are on a CDN, then perhaps 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 take place. That’s not something you require to artificially move.”

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 different area? Typically 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 dedicated IP was necessary.

“Shared IP addresses are fine for search! Lots of hosting/ CDN environments utilize them.”

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

A few tweets later, within the same Buy Twitter Verified thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered relating to backlinks. Mueller again responded with an easy “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller received a question about Google Browse Console showing a website’s IP address instead of a domain. His answer:

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

He suggested that the user make sure the IP address redirects to their domain.

A few months later, when asked if links from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:

“Links from IP addresses are definitely great. The majority of the time, it implies 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 doesn’t indicate they’re bad.”

In early 2020, when inquired 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 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 neighborhoods affecting search rankings, Mueller stated:

“I’m not knowledgeable about any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blogger. There are great websites that do well (ignoring on-page limitations, and so on), and there are terrible sites hosted there. It’s all the same facilities, the same IP addresses.”

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

“Enjoyable reality: altering a website’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you call it, can change how fast and often Googlebot crawls from stated site. That’s because it actually discovers that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how fast and typically it can crawl.”

While it’s intriguing information, it appears to impact crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, naturally, needed to rank, but crawling is not a ranking element.

In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if IP canonicalization might positively affect SEO. Meuller replied:

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

Later on in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks uncommon when Google assesses a link’s quality, Meuller specified, “Ip addresses are great. The web has tons of them.”

If you’re stressed over your IP address or hosting business, the consensus appears to be: Do not fret.

Get More Google Ranking Aspect Insights.

Our Verdict: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Element Anymore

Possibly in the past, Google explore IP-level actions versus spammy sites. However it needs to have discovered this inadequate because we are not seeing any verification from Google agents that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods are a part of the algorithm.

Therefore, we can conclude for now that IP addresses are not a ranking factor.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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