Does it matter where I register my domain geographically when I'm planning to change nameset (nameservers) to a server in my target area?


Target audience: USA
Server location: USA
Domain origin: bought from French registrator website

Question: When a user in the U.S. tries to access my web, will there be a delay, because he had to access the French registrator servers first or will he go directly to my U.S. server?


2 Answers 2


No, it doesn't matter.

Registrars are only bureaucratic entities that "give" you the name you requested, record your information and associate it with the domain name. Once you have the domain name, you have to host it somewhere, and that physical location is the one that may affect.


No, when a user requests a domain the first Domain Name Server queried will be local to them. Only if no record is found will the request be passed 'up the line' to the next Domain Name Server. It is possible that the request will get all the way to the registrar's DNS but it is unlikely and in any case it happens very quickly (YMMV!). It's not really worth worrying about.

However the location of the webserver that a site is hosted on may make a difference to your search engine visibility in different countries depending on the domain name itself.

This is not normally an issue where your domain matches that of the country you are hosting in but will unless you take some precautions/actions.

For instance. An .fr domain hosted in France will not be a a problem. An .fr domain hosted in the USA may not be indexed in the google.fr or will receive lower rankings than pages that are obviously related to French users.

You can overcome this by using, for example, Google's webmaster tools to indicate which geographic regions your site pertains to.

You should also be sure to make sure you declare the appropriate languages in you HTML.

  • So many inaccuracies in your answer. First of all the domain's nameservers aren't the same as the registrar's nameservers. Usually the domain's nameservers are the ones provided by the hosting company. Second you can host a Country Code Top Level Domain (CCTLD) in any country you like and it will still be associated with the correct nation (the domain's nation). You can read more about that at google's site support.google.com/webmasters/bin/…
    – Abdussamad
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 8:37
  • Yes, you're correct. I got it the wrong way around. I should have said; A .com domain hosted in the USA will not receive the same position in SERPS in Google's UK results even if the content is UK centric unless you specify (such as via Webmaster Tools) that the site is meant for a UK audience). Perhaps this problem was exacerbated by the common language though so if a site is in French but hosted in the USA Google may assume it is intended for a French audience. As for the DNS thing, again you're correct!
    – foamcow
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 11:41

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