On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that Google uses the ccTLD (country code top level domain) and the settings in the Google Search Console to determine the geographic location of a website.
In the past, Google also used the IP address of the server that hosts the website. So if you want to get high rankings in Germany, your website should use a .de domain. If you want to get high rankings in the UK, your website should use a .co.uk domain, etc.
For geotargeting we use mostly the ccTLD or search console setting, so place the server where it works best for you.— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) 7. Juli 2017
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