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Can moving website to “the cloud” harm positions in Google?

Can moving website to “the cloud” harm positions in Google? - answered by Matt Cutts

Summary:

For search engines is impossible to know stuff on the side of the server. All information that they can get is based on the date replied by server, so if you decide to move a part of your site in the cloud there will still be a main server that glues all together and search engines can’t even know about that. But if you want to move your entire site to the cloud there is an easy way to target a specific country using geo targeting from Google Webmaster. Moving to cloud have its positive sides, you shouldn’t worry about patching, crashing of hard drives and that kind of stuff.

 

Matt's answer:

We don’t know what’s happening on the side of your web server. Your web server could be running Pearl. It could be running PHP. It could be running Python. It could be running Ruby on Rails. All we know is where the web server returns.

 

So your web server could be running code that would go talk to Amazon’s Cloud or Appspot or anywhere else in the Cloud. But we wouldn’t even know that. We don’t even know whether a page is dynamically created or statically created, you know.

 

All we know is what the web server sends back

So, you know, having your web site in the Cloud, all we do is talk to a web server and we get some information back. If you’re talking to the Cloud behind the scenes, there’s no way for any search engine or any sort of bot to know about that.

 

Typically, your main site will still be the, your server will often be still in Germany. For example, Amazon S3, you can serve up static files, and so, you can serve up images. But most of the time, you’ll still have a web server that glues it all together. And that will probably still be located in Germany. If you do decide to move everything into the cloud, so for example, you got a domain and you populated it with something on Appspot, then in theory, yes. We might see that the IP address is Appspot, which might be in the United States.

 

You can set the geographic target in the Google Webmaster

So even if you have a U.S. IP address and you’re doing a German service, you can say, “Yes, this part of my site or my entire site is really targeted to the German market.” And in that way, even if you’re locating yourself at the Cloud, we’ll know that it’s still relevant to that particular country.

 

In general, I’ve noticed that when everything is on the Cloud you don’t have to worry about patching your software as much, because the web host or the web server or the web service takes care of it for you. So a lot of the times, it can be less trouble. And the hard drives on your local computer can crash. All that sort of stuff can go down.

 

If you outsource it to the Cloud, a lot of the times it’s easier and you don’t have to worry about all that sort of uptime, downtime, and all that sort of stuff. So it can be a really good move. I’ve seen people try to change their blog and their images so that they have almost nothing left that runs on their own web server. And if you can do that, sometimes things run a lot smoother.


by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team

 

Original video: