A data center comprises of several devices such as computers, servers, storage systems, databases, access control systems and other things that store data. There are several data centers around the world and are owned by software companies, consumer and non-consumer product organizations, governments and of course hosting providers. If your website is powered by VPS hosting then your data would be stored in one of the data centers owned by your hosting provider. This point needs to be understood because your business ultimately is driven by your data which is stored somewhere in the world. You do not have any control over this data center which also holds critical data of other websites. This article would explain how a data center affects your website.
How does a data center impact your SEO?
When a user types in the name of the domain into his browser and clicks ‘Enter’, ideally it should take a fraction of a second for the website to load on his computer. As soon as you click Enter, your website content travels from its host data center to the user’s computer. Today, most data centers deploy fibre optic cables that can transmit data at a very high speed and therefore, there is very little latency or delay in data transmission.
But this does not mean that if your data center is located in another continent, you would still experience a latency of, say, 10 milliseconds. On the contrary, if your VPS server is located in North America while your maximum visitors are from India, your website loading speed may increase and this may negatively impact your SEO. In that case, your visitors might turn away from your website and you may lose profitable business opportunities.
Amazon thinks that even a 1 second delay could cost it a loss of $1.6 billion. Similarly, Google ensures that its web load times are as low as possible. If you are an E-commerce business then you should know that even a 2.2 second improvement of your web page load time can increase your conversion by 15% (Firefox). Lastly, if your website loads in more than 3 seconds, you might lose 40% of your visitors.
All this data only suggests that the physical proximity of your data center to your audience matters a lot. There is an inverse relationship between your data center proximity and SEO performance.
Webpage load time is critical for your SEO ranking. Many studies have indicated that Google and other search engines lay a great emphasis on load times. When your page loads very quickly, this means your Average Time on Page metric becomes better and this signals to Google that your website content is being enjoyed by the visitors. Such content gets better rankings and may even find its way on the first page of Google.
To sum up, the location of your data center is very important for your website. The distance between the server and your audience should be as less as possible. While buying your hosting, check whether your VPS hosting plans contains information about your data centers, i.e. their location. Your website ranking is dependent upon the location of your data center. Try to get a data center that is as close to your visitors as possible.