I've got something confused with Google.com My website is hosted in United states, and its language is English. However, when i search a keyword in India, actually my website naming keyword.com, my site ranks #34. On the other hand, mysite ranks #20 in United States's Google search results.

Same as above my some keyword is #12 in United Stated and that same keyowrd when i'm in india and find in Google.com that keyword is #48.

Why does that happen? already know that different locations may lead different search results, but my site is hosted in United States, why India result better than United States result for the same keyword?

i already geographic target has been set United State in Google Webmaster tool and also i set language is English

Anyone could help?Thank you!

  • A lower number is higher ranked?
    – JamesRyan
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:04
  • Apperantly the content is more relevant in one country than another.
    – Martijn
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


It really does not matter that your site is hosted in the U.S. in this case. It could be hosted in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, and so on and the results would be the same. What does matter is the .com TLD. Perhaps a .in ccTLD would perform better. I say this for a couple of simple reasons. One: Language is a priority in search. Two: Locale in some data centers perform better. For example, while .com TLDs do soak well into certain data centers because of the English language match, and I assume that is the case for google.in, I would also assume the bulk of the searchs seen in google.in are more regional and cultural that are not generally reflected in .com TLDs as compared to .in ccTLDs. For this reason, I would assume that .com TLD sites would not bubble-up the SERPs for searches in google.in as any .in ccTLD.

Does this mean that a .com TLD cannot perform well in google.in? Of course not. The site would have to be targeted to perform well for search in India.

Google has many data centers. They are all independent and perform differently according to the search traffic they see. For this reason, it would make sense searches from India and the U.S. would be different and the results would be different. How a site performs in the SERPs from any data center is no reflection of the rank of the site or how the site performs in general, but rather reflects how the site performs within a particular locale.

If you are expecting to perform better in India, then you would want to adjust your SEO strategy for that audience. Short of a killer site, I do not think you can expect any site to perform as well U.S. vs. India and vice versa. The simple reason is this. They are radically different audiences.

  • I agree with this, except for the part on the domain registrar. Using .in alone wouldn't cause any changes. When I use google.ca it's rare to see .ca sites in the search results.
    – Reactgular
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 19:40
  • I did not say anything about a registrar. This is about load balancing and optimization of search traffic. There are not too many .ca sites compared to .com sites that soak the Northern English speaking Americas so your argument is not comparable to India.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 22:22

Google includes distance from web user to target website as part of it's ranking algorithm. The ranking of each item in a search result is relative to the searcher. So someone performing a search in one country will see different results from someone is a different country.

Why is distance a factory in ranking?

Google runs a number of data centers around the world to perform web crawling for their database. When a data center makes a request to a website it measures the delay it takes for the website to response. Google can not know if the delay is relative to server performance or server distance. So it includes this factor in its ranking.

The reason the keyword moved from #12 to #48 when you changed location was distance from you to that server increased. Google took this into account and decided there were faster connections that matched the search criteria.

If this is a problem for you, then you can improve your ranking by using a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This will make content available to visitors by choosing the closest location.

Any one can verify this effect by simply searching for the term "Asian takeout". Google will not display websites from Hong Kong on the first page to people in the US. I can log into a server in Hong Kong and get completely different results.

EDIT: Don't think of distance of physical distance from point A to B, but in Internet lag from server A to server B.

  • This not at all true at all. It is about search history for the data center period. Nothing more. Distance does not apply at all except where there is a network latency which happens for some locales. Your argument would mean that US based websites would not perform as well in Europe which is simply not the case. Of course Chinese takeout in Hong Kong would not be seen in the US, from a search perspective, it does not apply. Have you taken the other perspective? How do .com(s) perform in Hong Kong? What about all the .cn Chinese language sites hosted in the US or EU?
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 22:30

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