With so many hosting companies in so many different locations all over the world, does it really matter where my data is hosted? Surely a data centre is a data centre?
These are all questions that you might ask yourself when you are deciding on a location to store all your precious data.
In theory, a data centre can be built anywhere with power and connectivity, but in reality, location has an impact on the quality of service that the facility is able to provide to its customers.
It’s not that well known out there, but the location of your data can have a major effect on your SEO. Search engine ranking is partly tied to the physical location of the data, so although the exact geo-IP location is not the most important in search rankings, it plays a significant part.
One or the reasons for this is because where you are ranked on Google is down to your site speed. The faster the website, the better the SEO score and for a faster website load time your data must be stored closer to your end users.
Another reason to have your data centre in close proximity to your business is because Google tries to give users the most relevant results when they search for a term. So if you are a user in the United Kingdom and searched for ‘Plumbing’, the top results are most likely to be online stores with a UK IP address, and then later down the rankings, you will get the stores with a non UK IP Address, which is another reason to have a UK based server.
Data speeds and Latency
The location and where the data centre is physically located also play an important part in the data speeds and latency. So let’s imagine if you were a UK company that services people in the North of England. You’re storing your data on servers located in the US which means that every time someone wants to access it, it’s got to travel across the Atlantic. That data will therefore take longer to reach a customers device than if it were located in Manchester.
Annual surveys show that internet users are quick to drop sites with slow page times. People want instant access to data and don’t want to wait for it to come across the ocean.
Data Protection Laws
Another thing to consider is that data protection laws are popping up all over Europe. The Data Protection Act now requires UK companies to provide adequate protection to all customer data that is stored and collected.
There might be some cases in which a country’s laws require for certain kinds of data to be hosted domestically. There could also be times in which hosting data in one country isn’t appropriate if it is being accessed by users in other countries. Companies need to make sure that they take data protection laws into account to make sure that they comply with GDPR and data protection laws.
We hope this short article has given you an insight into the importance of the physical location of your web applications. If you would like any further advice or information please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help – 0161 464 6101.