In the future, will having IPv6 on your web-server affect it’s ranking in search engines? 

Over recent years there has been much discussion in the networking community on how to encourage the adoption of IPv6. One idea that has been put forward, is the possibility of search engines such as Google, Bing and others adding whether a web-server is IPv6 enabled to the many factors used to determine a page’s ranking.

With the imminent exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, this idea has again come to the fore. As a result, Jan Zorz and others have put together a proposal which can be seen at,  http://go6.si/2010/08/suggestion-for-internet-search-engines-proposed-ipv6-impact-on-search-engine-scoring-algorithms/. This proposal recommends the inclusion of IPv6 in the factors used by search engines.

The idea is simple. Just as search engines include a web-site’s availability and other non-content related factors into their ranking calculations, it seems reasonable to include a weighting for an IPv6 enabled web-site. This would give web-sites that have IPv6 and IPv4 connectivity a slight edge in rankings over those that only have IPv4.

For many companies, site ranking is a critical part of their marketing profile. Even a small factor in favour of IPv6, as suggested in this proposal, would be taken seriously as it could make the difference between beating competitors in the ranking and following them in the rankings.

In the IPv6 community, there is significant support for this idea, however it remains to be seen if the search engine providers implement it. Regardless of how soon or if this idea is adopted, any organisation whose marketing profile depends on their web-site’s ranking in search engines will need to look seriously at implementing IPv6, just in case.