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I am administering two similar sites on two domains, XX.cz for the Czech language and X-X.sk for the Slovak language. Both sites are on different servers with different IPs.

I suggested to move the sites to one server, so both can use the same administration interface. I was told the current solution is because having similar content of different languages on different IP addresses is better for SEO. IS that true?

Also, does having a site in Slovak language on a server outside or inside the country affect SEO?

  • Are the servers currently located within their respective countries? Or are they just on different IP addresses in a common location? – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 22 '18 at 13:18
  • Currently, both sites are hosted in their respective countries on different servers and services. But it makes content administration a pain. – Casso Oct 22 '18 at 13:23
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Separate IP addresses for different languages is not in and of itself something that can improve SEO. Hosting content within the country to which it is targeted can improve SEO. There are a couple reasons for this:

  • Googlebot can use hosting location as one signal to determine that a site is meant for an audience in a specific country. You get better rankings in that country (and much worse ranking in the rest of the world) when Google thinks your site is meant just for a single country.
  • Hosting close to users is much better for performance. It is often much better to host within the country of your users to make the site faster for them. This can indirectly lead to better search engine rankings because Google rewards sites that users seem to like.

Consolidating your hosting won't necessarily hurt your SEO but you would need to take some precautions. The hardest one would be performance. You certainly shouldn't move your hosting across an ocean. You can use content delivery networks (CDNs) that can cache some resources close to your customers even when the hosting is outside their country.

There are several major signals that Googlebot uses to determine when a site is meant for an audience in a specific country:

  • The hreflang meta tags included in the pages that include the country code
  • Which country the site is hosted in
  • If the site is using a country code top level domain
  • A specific setting in Google Search Console that can be used for generic top level domains to tell Google to target them to a specific country

Since you already have the country code top level domain, the hosting within the country shouldn't be a major signal to Google. Just the top level country code domain is usually enough. You should consider adding the hreflang tags as well.

Google has a lot more in depth information in their help center: Managing multi-regional and multilingual sites - Search Console Help

For reference, here is a more in-depth article: WordPress Multilingual - How Important Is Server Location? Geotargeting, SEO and CDNs

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