Is IP Address A Google Ranking Element?

Posted by

Does the IP address of your site’s server impact your rankings in search results page? According to some sources around the web, your IP address is a ranking signal used by Google.

But does your IP address have the prospective to help or damage your rankings in search? Continue reading to learn whether IP addresses are a Google ranking factor.

The Claim: IP Address As A Ranking Factor

Articles on the internet from reputable marketing sites declare that Google has more than 200 “understood” ranking factors.

These lists typically include statements about flagged IP addresses affecting rankings or higher-value links due to the fact that they are from separate C-class IP addresses.

Screenshot from HubSpot.com, June 2022 Thankfully, these lists sparked various conversations with Google employees about the credibility of IP addresses as ranking consider Google’s algorithm.

[Ebook:] The Complete Guide To Google Ranking Factors

The Evidence Versus IP Address As A Ranking Element

In 2010, Matt Cutts, previous head of Google’s webspam team, was asked if the ranking of a client’s website would be impacted by spammy websites on the same server.

His response:

“On the list of things that I stress over, that would not be near the top. So I comprehend, and Google comprehends that shared webhosting happens. You can’t truly manage who else is on that IP address or class c subnet.”

Eventually, Google decided if they did something about it on an IP address or Class C subnet, the spammers would simply relocate to another IP address. For that reason, it wouldn’t be the most efficient method to take on the problem.

Cutts did note a particular exception, where an IP address had 26,000 spam websites and one non-spammy website that welcomed more scrutiny but reiterated that this was a remarkable outlier.

In 2011, a tweet from Kaspar Szymanski, another former member of Google’s webspam team, kept in mind that Google can act when free hosts have been enormously spammed.

In 2016, during a Google Webmaster Central Office Hours, John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, was asked if having all of a group’s sites on the very same c block of IP addresses was a problem.

He addressed:

“No, that’s perfectly great. So that’s not something where you artificially require to buy IP address obstructs to simply shuffle things around.

And especially if you are on a CDN, then possibly you’ll end up on an IP address block that’s utilized by other business. Or if you’re on shared hosting, then these things take place. That’s not something you need to artificially walk around.”

In March 2018, Mueller was asked if an IP change with a different geo-location would affect SEO. He reacted:

“If you relocate to a server in a various area? Typically not. We get enough geotargeting info otherwise, e.g., from the TLD & geotargeting settings in Browse Console.”

A couple of months later on, Mueller replied to a tweet asking if Google still counted bad communities as a ranking signal and if a dedicated IP was required.

“Shared IP addresses are fine for search! Great deals of hosting/ CDN environments utilize them.”

In October 2018, Mueller was asked if the IP address area mattered for a website’s rankings. His action was merely, “Nope.”

A couple of tweets later, within the very same Buy Twitter Verification thread, another user commented that IP addresses mattered concerning backlinks. Mueller once again reacted with a simple “Nope.”

In June 2019, Mueller received a concern about Google Search Console showing a website’s IP address rather of a domain. His answer:

“Generally, getting your IP addresses indexed is a bad idea. IP addresses are often temporary.”

He suggested that the user ensure the IP address redirects to their domain.

A few months later, when asked if links from IP addresses were bad, Mueller tweeted:

“Links from IP addresses are definitely great. The majority of the time, it suggests the server wasn’t set up well (we canonicalized to the IP address instead of the hostname, easy to repair with redirects & rel=canonical), however that’s just a technical information. It doesn’t indicate they’re bad.”

In early 2020, when asked about getting links from different IP addresses, Mueller said that the bad part was the user was making the backlinks themselves– not the IP addresses.

Then, in June, Mueller was asked what happens if a site on an IP address purchased links. Would there be an IP-level action taken?

“Shared hosting & CDNs on a single IP is truly common. Having some bad websites on an IP doesn’t make everything on that IP bad.”

In September, throughout a discussion about bad neighborhoods affecting search rankings, Mueller specified:

“I’m not aware of any ranking algorithm that would take IPs like that into account. Look at Blogger. There are great sites that do well (disregarding on-page constraints, and so on), and there are terrible websites hosted there. It’s all the same infrastructure, the very same IP addresses.”

In November, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Joy at Google, shared a fun truth.

“Enjoyable truth: altering a site’s underlaying infrastructure like servers, IPs, you name it, can change how quick and typically Googlebot crawls from said site. That’s due to the fact that it really identifies that something changed, which triggers it to relearn how quick and frequently it can crawl.”

While it’s interesting details, it appears to effect crawling and not ranking. Crawling is, obviously, needed to rank, but crawling is not a ranking factor.

In 2021, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if IP canonicalization could favorably affect SEO. Meuller replied:

“Unless folks are linking to your site’s IP address (which would be unexpected), this wouldn’t have any impact on SEO.”

Later in December, when asked if an IP address instead of a hostname looks unusual when Google examines a link’s quality, Meuller mentioned, “Ip addresses are fine. The web has tons of them.”

If you’re worried about your IP address or hosting business, the consensus appears to be: Do not worry.

Get More Google Ranking Factor Insights.

Our Decision: IP Address Is Not A Ranking Element Any Longer

Perhaps in the past, Google explore IP-level actions versus spammy websites. But it should have discovered this ineffective because we are not seeing any confirmation from Google representatives that IP addresses, shared hosting, and bad neighborhoods belong of the algorithm.

For that reason, we can conclude for now that IP addresses are not a ranking element.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

< img src ="// www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20760%20300%22%3E%3C/svg%3E" alt="Ranking Factors: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some Myths! [Ebook] width="760" height="300" data-src="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rf-ebook-download-banner-62e8c6126ffe8-sej.jpg"/ > < img src="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rf-ebook-download-banner-62e8c6126ffe8-sej.jpg" alt="Ranking Factors: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some Misconceptions! [Ebook]/ >