Is IP Address A Google Ranking Element?

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Does the IP address of your website’s server affect your rankings in search engine result? 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 element.

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Articles on the web from credible marketing sites declare that Google has more than 200 “known” ranking elements.

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

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Luckily, these lists stimulated numerous conversations with Google workers 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, previous head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a client’s site would be impacted by spammy websites on the exact same server.

His reaction:

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

Eventually, Google decided if they took action on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would simply transfer to another IP address. Therefore, it wouldn’t be the most efficient method to take on the problem.

Cutts did keep in mind a specific exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam websites and one non-spammy site that welcomed more scrutiny but reiterated that this was an exceptional outlier.

In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another former member of Google’s webspam team, noted that Google has the right to take action when totally free hosts have actually been massively spammed.

In 2016, throughout a Google Webmaster Headquarters Hours, John Mueller, Search Advocate 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 addressed:

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

And particularly if you are on a CDN, then perhaps 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 take place. That’s not something you need to synthetically walk around.”

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

“If you move to a server in a different location? Generally not. We get enough geotargeting info 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 dedicated IP was required.

“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 reaction was merely, “Nope.”

A few tweets later, within the same Buy Twitter Verification thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered relating to backlinks. Mueller once again reacted with a simple “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller received a concern about Google Browse Console revealing a website’s IP address rather of a domain. His answer:

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

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

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

“Links from IP addresses are absolutely fine. The majority of the time, it means the server wasn’t established well (we canonicalized to the IP address rather than the hostname, simple to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), but that’s just a technical detail. It doesn’t suggest they’re bad.”

In early 2020, when inquired about getting links from different 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 takes place 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 truly typical. Having some bad websites on an IP does not make everything on that IP bad.”

In September, throughout a discussion about bad areas affecting search rankings, Mueller mentioned:

“I’m not familiar with any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Take a look at Blogger. There are excellent websites that succeed (disregarding on-page limitations, and so on), and there are dreadful websites hosted there. It’s all the very same infrastructure, the very same IP addresses.”

In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Happiness at Google, shared a fun fact.

“Enjoyable reality: changing a website’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can alter how quick and typically Googlebot crawls from stated site. That’s due to the fact that it really identifies that something altered, which triggers it to relearn how fast and frequently it can crawl.”

While it’s interesting details, it seems to effect crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, naturally, needed to rank, however crawling is not a ranking element.

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

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

Later in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks uncommon when Google examines 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 agreement seems to be: Don’t stress.

Get More Google Ranking Element Insights.

Our Decision: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Element Anymore

Perhaps in the past, Google explore IP-level actions against spammy sites. However it needs to have discovered this ineffective since we are not seeing any confirmation from Google agents that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods belong of the algorithm.

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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