Friday, April 17, 2015

What’s Your Data’s Offline Address?

Most people think of data as a vague, intangible concept, a vast network of binary code floating in the endless electronic ether. However, all data on the Internet worldwide is stored in a physical location of some kind, and even though cloud storage can make it appear as though the data is in multiple places at the same time, the actual source data is held at its home storage facility. 

With servers planted all over the globe including web hosting in Australia, business owners often wonder if they should store the data in a specific location to offer them a competitive edge among search results, and though location does play a minor part in the search engine’s performance, there are other, more influential factors that can determine the reliability of your server and impact your position in search results.

Hops and Distance
Data doesn’t simply jump from point A to point B when traveling over a network, it must proceed through a system of server checkpoints known as “nodes” on its journey from source to destination. The distance between nodes is called a “hop,” and the number of hops a piece of data must take does affect its delivery time to a limited extent. Modern technologies are rapidly closing this gap, but for now domestic hosting solutions do offer slightly better performance to domestic users.

Native Language
Language is a much more important factor in determining the order of search results, as content in the native language of the end user is typically rated much higher for its informational value than content in other languages. This is why English sites make up the majority of Anglophone search results, and entrepreneurs looking to establish their Internet presences abroad may consider adding multilingual content to their sites.

Acts of God
Servers are notoriously vulnerable to temperature extremes, moisture, and other environmental dangers, and so the location of your server may also be significant for reasons of pure practicality. A server hosting location in an area with an extremely hot and arid climate or frequent hurricanes is susceptible to facility compromise due to circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the hosting company. 

These incidents are known as “Acts of God,” and are often specifically excluded from hosting agreements to release the company from any responsibility for your damages. For this reason, business leaders would do well to consider a hosting services provider in a stable domestic environment.

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