"Where is this domain hosted?" (web hosting location Firefox extensions)

Yesterday’s post on locating an IP address also made me test the hostipfox (scroll down to halfway the page) and IP2LocationFox Firefox extensions. Both extensions let you look up the location where a website is hosted – just by pointing (and clicking).


This extension is pretty intrusive in the sense that it will lookup IP and query location for every link you point at. Only for geo-geeks :-).


Rightclick on a link and choose the “IP2Location Lookup” option:

Here you also get the ISP.

Why is the location of a web hoster relevant?

It’s relevant if you’re into SEO :-). Search engine results depend on the national version of Google you’re using, and the location from where you search. For example: Belgian web sites will be favoured strongly in searches on Google.be, even if the search is not restricted to Belgium.

Both Peter Forret and I write in English and have an international .info/.com extension. Pascal.vanhecke.info is recognised as Belgian, whereas Peter Forret’s blog isn’t. I get a proportionally high number of search hits via Google.be, for Peter’s blog there will be no such effect, but there will be for some other subdomains of his that are hosted in Belgium.

When you have a country domain extension (.be, .nl…), Google will recognize your “nationality” anyhow (example: the Second Life forum I started last month, is Belgian, even if it is hosted by the same US company (referral) as Peter’s blog). However, experiences like this indicate that the location of your hosting still matters even if you have a country domain extension (Dutch traffic on a domain with a Dutch .nl extensions dropped dramatically when the hosting moved out of the Netherlands).

6 Responses to “"Where is this domain hosted?" (web hosting location Firefox extensions)”

  1. Anay Kamat Says:

    Nice post. I would like to add one more point. If your site is not hosted on local server, or if it doesn’t have country domain extension than you can still get good ranking in google. For this you need to make sure that you have lot of backlinks either from locally hosted websites or from websites with country domain extension. For example, if I don’t have .co.in extention and my site is hosted by US server, I can get good ranking in google.co.in if I have lot of backlinks from websites having co.in extention.

    This is where you could use these tools to know the location of websites from which you can request backlinks.

  2. ClassAd Says:

    I saw one question posted in one of the forums as below. I have the same concern and what is your advice/suggestion on this?

    “I’m hosting my blog about UNITED STATES solar power incentives, http://www.solarpowerrocks.com on a VPS in Isreal. I’ve got many other VPS options around the globe available that were paid for already for another project… so switching would be easy.

    My question is: Does this matter from an SEO perspective? I am reviewing US incentives…. so I’d like US traffic. Does the hosting location matter in the eyes of search engines? Should I move it to Florida? Or in that case, do the states matter? If that matters than I should stick it in Oregon. My gut says where a site is hosted doesn’t matter but I don’t know.”

  3. Pascal Says:

    In fact, the rationale for choosing your hosting in the country you target, is outdated (at least for Google) since you can now determine your targeted location in Google Webmaster Tools

  4. Everything is a Freaking DNS problem Says:

    Fosdem 2008, looking back…

  5. Dave Says:

    GREAT PLUGIN! I never found such stuff by myself and I am technician! Great article thank you so much!

  6. Thomas Says:

    I would also strongly suggest WorldIP, which gives you the accurate location of the datacenter used by the website (and not the country given by the registrar, contrary to other Firefox extensions like Flagfox e.g.).
    In you case, it tells me you are using Combell to host your website ;)
    More info -> http://www.wipmania.com/plugins/