Web Hosting Location No Longer A Criterion For Country Specific Google Results?

Google has always maintained that for a site to appear in “pages from that country” results (i.e. – pages from India or Pages from UK), it needs to be hosted in that country. This meant that for a site to appear in the search results of Google.co.in with the “Pages from India” option selected, it needed to be hosted in India.
A few months back, this criterion was diluted and sites that were either hosted in India or had a country specific domain (.co.in, .in) would both show up in the country specific results.

Since the last few days, we’ve noticed another change. Sites which are neither hosted in India nor have a country specific TLD are now showing up in the Google “pages from India” results if their WHOIS data shows that the registrant is from India. This just shows that Google is not only reviewing but also giving much more importance to the WHOIS data.

So what happens if one uses an identity protector and does not reveal his/her name in the WHOIS? Also what happens to a TLD with a foreign registration address (i.e. – Suppose I own a .co.in domain but my registrant address shows I stay in the US)? There will be a lot of people who must’ve noticed the recent Google changes and must be working out ways to use these factors to improve their site’s search engine placement… The future sure looks interesting!!!

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