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I have a website that is currently hosted in Japan and has been for a number of years. Its well established in the search engines in both Yahoo Japan and Google Japan.

For numerous reasons its become necessary to move our site to a new host, and our systems administrator has asked me if its ok to use a none Japanese Host in a country close by, preferably the US.(Not exactly close but closer than some).

I am trying to find out if moving the site away from its homeland will have a significant effect on its search engine rankings in Japan. I've heard from somwhere that it will negatively effect the site, but I was hoping someone could provide some evidence, or ideally a case study for this?

Its a tall order, but maybe someone can help out there?

Thanks!

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2 Answers 2

According to this Google blog post the TLD is more important then the country the site is hosted in. That post covers working with regional websites in good detail and should be a good point in the right direction.

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Google does consider the location of your server when determining search rankings for local markets. If your audience is in JP try to keep it there. TLD is important, charset, and even the language encoding of your visitors browsers. These datapoints help google classify your site's audience.

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