Search engine optimization is of huge importance to the traffic a website gets. If you maintain good SEO practices for your website, and follow certain codes of practice, then you are very likely to become friends with major search engines. Ignore some of the rules, and you’re going to struggle to gain organic traffic.
One area that is disregarded quite a bit, with respect to how it impacts the SEO of a website, is with website hosting.
Of course, website SEO is going to be impacted on the web load speed. This makes sense. If a website is quicker to load, people are going to be less likely to click away, out of frustration for waiting too long for the website to load. If more people go onto the website from search engines and don’t click ‘Back’, then it sends a clear message to the search engine that the content was useful, and provides more justification to rank the article higher.
Web speed is quite a bit dependent on the hosting provider you have. However, what about the location of the web host? For example, Google Cloud has data centres all around the world – where should you choose your main data centre to be?
Not all content goes through a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Content delivery networks are a must for any website. What a CDN does is store all of the static files of a website onto edge servers around the world, so that web users from different parts of the world can access them a lot quicker. Believe it or not, the speed of light does make a difference to a website loading time if the server is in America and being requested in Australia!
This also helps to reduce the CPU usage on the main server, since it is not having to resend static files all the time for traffic (the CDN is doing this instead).
The problem is that not everything can be stored and transmitted using CDN edge servers.
All admin-ajax requests, which are becoming more and more used by WordPress, can only ever be computed and sent from the main hosting server. Dynamic content struggles to be integrated with CDNs too. For this reason, some of the content is delivered by CDN. But, still some of the content of a website comes from the main server.
Therefore, the location of your host will still affect the speed of your website, depending on where the hosting server is located.
What location are you targeting SEO for the most?
Based on speed, you want to locate your server to where your traffic comes from the most, or what country you are trying to target the most, for optimum speed.
What are the server hardware specs?
Although the hosting provider might give off the impression that all of the servers they have the same spec, this is not always the case. Take the below example with Linode:
Different locations have different specs, so take this into consideration too!