I am in the UK and looking for a new server for my websites. Pricing in the UK is really expensive but I stuck with the UK as that is where my main audience is. I noticed that with providers like Hetzner in Germany I can get a better server and 1/2 the price.

Can I host the websites in Germany but still do well in search engine rankings in the UK? It has been suggested that using Cloudflare will ultimately hide the true server location and the search engines then base the best location on website characteristics such as language, topic and the like.

1 Answer 1


You can host your website anywhere with good connectivity and get good rankings for a particular area - Google likely keys off the domain suffix more then the IP address (which hints at actual location). That said, page speed is taken into consideration so having stuff on the opposite side of the world might hurt -but that's not really the case here.

Cloudflare will hide the ultimate location of the site but it's unclear to me that that will make a difference (although Cloudflare can help in other ways like speed ups)

  • 1
    "Google likely keys off the domain suffix more then the IP address" - I would go so far as to say the IP address (as in the perceived physical "location of the server") has no influence at all on rankings.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 12:24
  • @MrWhite is that a new thing? Ten years ago I know Google was using your hosting country as a geo-targeting signal. I guess CDNs may have made that signal too noisy to use today. Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 18:19
  • 1
    @StephenOstermiller Google's John Mueller was quoted as saying (July 2018) the server's IP address was used "way in the beginning" for geotargeting but no longer plays a role. (Source) I would have said that would have been >>10 years ago?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 20:17
  • That's only geotargeting. There are other SEO reasons to hide your IP address, like hosting multiple competing brands and wanting them each to rank on their own merits. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 15:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.