Credit Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC.

This image of Earth’s city lights was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). Originally designed to view clouds by moonlight, the OLS is also used to map the locations of permanent lights on the Earth’s surface.
The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. (Compare western Europe with China and India.) Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. Even without the underlying map, the outlines of many continents would still be visible. The United States interstate highway system appears as a lattice connecting the brighter dots of city centers. In Russia, the Trans-Siberian railroad is a thin line stretching from Moscow through the center of Asia to Vladivostok. The Nile River, from the Aswan Dam to the Mediterranean Sea, is another bright thread through an otherwise dark region.

Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, some regions remain thinly populated and unlit. Antarctica is entirely dark. The interior jungles of Africa and South America are mostly dark, but lights are beginning to appear there. Deserts in Africa, Arabia, Australia, Mongolia, and the United States are poorly lit as well (except along the coast), along with the boreal forests of Canada and Russia, and the great mountains of the Himalaya.

The Impact of IP location

 

I recently came across a blog post emphasizing the importance of ip location when targeting country specific traffic. The difference might surprise you!

 

To summarize the original poster decided to upgrade his webpage and while doing this his host switched his site from a UK to US IP-address. Shifts in traffic are rather dramatic and visibility in the organic list is definitely something worth taking into consideration. Which is why I thought this would be interesting to share.

 

The site owner saw a 15-20% flux in rankings over night only due to ip-locality. Down went his UK rankings, whilst his US rankings increased.

 

It’s said that ip-locality can be re-routed via Google webmaster tools, however his rankings where still affected regardless. The webmaster in turn noticed the following:

 

”I’ve played with the GWMT International Targeting settings and found setting our “.com” to target the UK improved impressions in the UK but reduced impressions in the US. That’s pretty understandable. I don’t think the change had as powerful effect on UK rankings as the IP change did.”

 

Matt Cutts was asked in the 2013 whether IP’s made a significant difference and give this the following statement:

 

”In an ideal world it would be wonderful if you could have a separate IP for each domain and have it placed in different domains.”

 

 

Most webmasters are probably in the dark and completely oblivious to the importance of IP-location. Furthermore, multilingual site owners could probably see increases in traffic just by using proxy ip’s. This can be solved simply by asking your host to give each site a unique ip-address to the target country or by switching to a SEO-hosting provider.

 

Learn more about Seo hosting.

Read the full blog post 

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