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I was browsing through a VPS provider and came across this information for additional IPs. Is this true?

One of the main criteria Google takes into account when ranking every website is loading speed, but server location and IP geolocation also play an important role in boosting rankings in search engines, which give priority to local results.

source: https://www.ovh.com/us/vps/vps-geolocation.xml

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In a Google Webmaster Help thread, Google's John Mueller said in response to the question of SEO and server location:

For search, specifically for geotargeting, the server's location plays a very small role, in many cases it's irrelevant. If you use a ccTLD or a gTLD together with Webmaster Tools, then we'll mainly use the geotargeting from there, regardless of where your server is located. You definitely don't need to host your website in any specific geographic location -- use what works best for you, and give us that information via a ccTLD or Webmaster Tools.

Q: Is the server location important for geotargeting?

A: If you can use one of the other means to set geotargeting (ccTLD or Webmaster Tools’ geotargeting tool), you don’t need worry about the server’s location. We do, however, recommend making sure that your website is hosted in a way that will give your users fast access to it (which is often done by choosing hosting near your users).

So...

Server location does not matter much in SEO of a site, but choosing a server location near audience location is a good choice since response time is lower and it is even environment friendly.

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I can confirm that server location plays a role in SEO. As a marketing manager at web hosting company, I spoke with several clients who are involved in marketing. Originally, almost everyone was hosting their website on giants - Bluehost, Godaddy or something else. When they came to us and started hosting sites on local servers, page load time improved and their rankings were slightly better.

How does it affect SEO?

Website need less time to respond i.e. first byte response. See: https://moz.com/blog/improving-search-rank-by-optimizing-your-time-to-first-byte

  • The OP is asking about server location and SEO. You make a statement, but do not explain how server locations effect SEO nor do you site any references. I happen to know you are correct, however, answers should give details. – closetnoc Aug 8 '16 at 16:47
  • Hi, I made some corrections. – ivanm Aug 10 '16 at 19:35
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As suggested by Josip Ivic, server location plays a very small role in SEO.

Use ccTLD which is relevant to the visitor location. Google will automatically give importance to ccTLD domains in your target location and will override the server location.

In case, if you have multiple country code domains, then redirect the visitor based on his IP address.

  • You should never redirect visitors based on their IP address. IP address databases are not that accurate. Plus, your location doesn't always indicate your language. It will frustrate, travelers, immigrants, and people in places where more than one language is spoken (like French in Canada.) – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 27 at 12:38

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