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We are an India based media organization with several websites hosted on physical servers in India. Majority of our readers are from India.

We are looking to migrate to AWS in the India (Mumbai) region. However, the US region is cheaper. Will hosting our websites in the US region impact our websites SEO?

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If you can have a faster local server that's better but think in this way if your website will load reasonably faster from US server also then you don't need to worry.

The point is if you can keep your website load time faster then server location becomes secondary.

You may have the best server and located locally but if your website (HTML, CSS, JS, Images etc) is not optimised properly then you may not get the best outcome.

Example: Google traffic is very high to Wikipedia from across the globe, location is secondary here.

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Investigation into AWS region response times shows that which region you choose has a large impact on your response time. To keep your sites as responsive as possible, it is important to pick regions carefully. (https://www.concurrencylabs.com/blog/choose-your-aws-region-wisely/) From this data Mumbai has higher latency times.

The impact on SEO is the concern with visitors clicking off of your site due to the slow responses. Kissmetrics estimates if the site doesn't load in 3 seconds, visitors leave. So choosing a site based on performance makes a big difference.

Consider where the majority of your customers are located and then choose an appropriate region. And within countries the AWS options may have considerable differences in cost and latency. California is known to be more expensive and slower than other AWS regions in the US (currently Ohio and Virginia seem to be the value locations.)

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If you've set target as India in your search console account, then you're good to go. I know matt cutts said it will affect, but he said in 2009, which is not same as today. Google slightly lower the value if they have something better to measure. And search console data is perfect for that.

  • How about the effect on user experience? Loading sites cross-continent can be seconds slower. That type of user experience degradation can have huge impacts on SEO. – Stephen Ostermiller Dec 6 '17 at 11:25
  • Google score site speed based on time period(I have read that on some approved patient), if site loaded within 1.1 to 1.5 second, then it will get x score, and if site load within 1.5 to 2 second then it will get y score. But if you changed your host server, and it improve your site speed in few ms then it won't affect at all. There is many other way to boost your site speed as well, which I believe impact more in UX compare to host location. – Goyllo Dec 7 '17 at 6:48
  • And @StephenOstermiller what you want to say about Googlebot location, since most of time their IP location is US, so does not it render content faster if your site location is US? Google said many time we consider UX report but do you think they can create UX report like some analytics tool create based on individual user interaction? – Goyllo Dec 7 '17 at 6:58

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