I'm very curious, how is domain extension REALLY impact the SEO in most of search engines and specially in google and social media. I'll clear out my point here: there's lots of material about that domain extension of some specific country, say, France(.fr), will be more local(to France) SEO-friendly than worldwide domain(.com). So, if you don't need a worldwide traffic at all you should obviously go with .fr domain extension, right? But what if not. How is it REALLY will be influence to your web-project SEO?

And the second question I got here is, well... I've heard from some that the LOCATION of the server the web-project is hosted, also has some influence on SEO. I personally don't know anything about it. And I just google it and didn't find anything about that. Only the uptime and the speed of loading is important, that no doubt it is, but what the deal with hosting location? Is that REALLY so?

  • Host network quality is extremely important. You do now want your site in what is termed a bad neighborhood known for spam sites, vulnerable systems, hacked systems, low quality sites, e-mail spammers, etc. Registrars are also a consideration. Remember, you get what you pay for. Popular hosts and registrars are not always an indicator. Often it is not. One site on a shared host server can ruin your day. As well as a CDN IP address. Go for quality.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:10
  • Would you be more precisely? I'm not talking here about what web-hosting is better and how it's influence the SEO. Nor do I talk here about the keyword in the domain or something alike that. Please, focus on MY questions here. Thanks.
    – mikewol
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:21
  • I did focus on your question, more specifically your use of LOCATION of the server. If you are not talking about a physical location, then you will need to clarify. If you are talking about a .fr domain being hosted other than in France, that is not generally an issue with some exception. For example, I certainly would not host it in China. As well, I said absolutely nothing about keywords. If you want help here, it helps to be a bit more patient and kind with those who are trying to help you.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:45
  • Didn't mean to be rude or something, just trying to make a point to you, that hacked systems, email spammers etc isn't really what I'm talking about here. The MAIN question was about the DOMAIN EXTENSION and it's real influences to SEO. The question about hosting is probably did needed to be pointed out and yes, that is about the physical location. I just don't have any data about this thing and can't imagine how would this kind of thing work(with cloud hosting for example).
    – mikewol
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:54
  • Two things. I think @closetnoc was talking about the "reputation" of the C-block (the neighbouring IP addresses near said website's IP address). Thus what country one hosts would matter. Also I think this is a great question because I get asked this all the time (as a regional web host) and I think it's hogwash IMO.
    – Alex R
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 1:40

3 Answers 3


Having a different version of your website per country can help SEO a lot. Google gives a big boost to local websites in the local search results for each country.

This makes some sense because if you have a local website:

  • You indicate that you are able to serve that market
  • You can show prices in the local currency
  • You can show local contact info
  • You can show appropriate shipping options
  • You can customize (customise) the website with spelling differences and local idioms.
  • You can move hosting close to the country to improve performance

There are many signals that Google uses to determine if a website is meant for a specific country. Google calls this "geo-targeted".

Top level country domain

Google automatically assumes that any website on a country domain (eg .co.uk) is intended for an audience in that country. Using a top level domain isn't a requirement, but if you do, it trumps all the other signals.

Top level country domains are expensive. There may be domain squatters. You may have to meet eligibility requirements in some countries such as opening a local office.

If you don't want to use top level country domains I suggest using country subdomains instead (eg uk.example.com).

Hosting in the country

In some cases Google tries to use hosting location to determine where a site is geo-targeted. I wouldn't try to host in a country just for SEO, but it can make a big difference to host near a target country from a user experience perspective. Having all your European targeted websites on a single server somewhere in Europe is much better than having the server in the US, even though only one country will actually match the hosting precisely.

Settings in Google Search Console

The most direct way to tell Google about your country specific site is to add that site to Google Search Console and set the geographic targeting settings. Doing so is the most straightforward way of getting around using something other than country top level domains.



It was said the location of the servers used to matter to SEO. Some SEO people I know would say if your business was in France but the servers were in India there could be a minor rank decrease. There is no proof this was ever true.

The domain name extension (.com or .fr) does not have any impact on SEO.

It may only impact the traffic of website visitors but not search engine results. Yes, if a business is local to France, that audience may trust the .fr domain over the .com. But with the recent onslaught of new domain name extensions being approved by ICANN now available (and more coming), domain name extension distinction won't matter in 2016 and beyond.


Domain extension used to give benefit to the website earlier, but now days search engine algorithms are very advance, so they don't consider these information as primary source for the search engine ranking. You can use country based domain like France(.fr) or choose .com domain for your website. Please note you have to choose from two option which are regional or .com. e.g. if you are planning to run business in France then don't select .ca (Canada) domain. It must be .fr or .com.

The most important is how you promote your domain in the targeted market. The targeted users of your website will determine the ranking of your website in that country. If your website is having more influence in Canada than France then you will see your ranking is getting better in the Canada search.

About the location of the server, I would suggest getting CDN Server for your website. This will help you to increase your website performance in the regional market. CDN Server host your website on their server and render the file by using the location of the users. Google itself using CDN Servers to increase the browsing speed and faster file rendering.

so it is not important what domain you are registering, the only thing that matter is the marketing of the website.

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