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).