IP Address in Google Organic SERPs

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo,

Today’s post contains a question for you, my valued readers. In doing some Google queries in the main Google index, I came across something quite peculiar in the results. My query was for therapist berkeley ca (so, of a local nature) and the following indented result for one of my clients was returned to me:

image of ip address in serps

Note my scribbly pink circles around the IP address appearing where the website URL should normally be. None of the other 8 results on the page had IP addresses instead of URLs. Have you run into this before? What’s it all about? I’d love feedback!

8 Responses to “IP Address in Google Organic SERPs”

  1. on 20 Nov 2007 at 8:42 pm Lori

    Wow, that is strange. I don’t know if this helps, but I get the same result from Chicago. Also, when I click on her site, it looks like her actual URL is really that IP address. If you paste this into your browser bar, you get her site:


  2. on 20 Nov 2007 at 8:44 pm Lori

    Sorry, one more thing: if you type in her name as the URL – http://www.vivianhankin.com, you get the same site. My guess is that somehow there’s an issue with her domain registration, so that her IP address is also her URL and there are two versions of her site floating around in Google’s index.

  3. on 20 Nov 2007 at 10:12 pm Matt McGee

    I have the same issue:


    I believe all web sites can be reached by visiting the IP address. That’s not unusual. What’s unusual is that Google is actually spidering via the IP addresses. That makes no sense to me.

  4. on 21 Nov 2007 at 2:57 am admin

    Hi Lori,
    Thank you for taking the time to check that from your location. I appreciate it. Like Matt says, it’s pretty standard that the IP takes you to the website…but I am now concerned that something is wrong with the configuration of the server. Mike Blumenthal kindly wrote to me about this and said this is his guess of what is going on, and he is going to test this out tomorrow and get back to me. I will be sure to post an updated as to what he finds. This is a new client we are doing some ongoing work for, so I definitely want to get to the bottom of this.

    Matt –
    Is that weird or what? We must be on the same cosmic wavelength this week. Haha. I hope we can get this figured out!


  5. on 21 Nov 2007 at 2:11 pm iamlost

    Finding the IP in place of the DN is unusual but not unknown – it can be deliberate or error. What is interesting is your example.

    I get two sets of indents – the first is the IP as you show. The second is the DN. Two kicks of the can at the SERPs – WOW!

    Clicking the links in all instances brings up normal pages, no intreguing differences.

    Clicking the cached versions does show a difference.
    1. the IP versions show cache dates of September and October.
    2. the DN versions show cache dates of November.
    3. the IP versions show
    4. the DN versions show

    I see several possibilities (3 as most likely):
    1. the site was referenced in backlinks via IP rather than DN and Google previously carried it forward.
    2. Google didn’t transform IP to DN in prior crawls.
    3. the site was previously set to display IP rather than DN and that now has been changed and the SERPs are ?temporarily? showing both until all pages have been sorted through and index realises it has duplicates.

    The things one finds in California Igloos :)

  6. on 21 Nov 2007 at 2:16 pm iamlost

    Sorry – I cut and pasted HTML code without thinking about filters –

    3. the IP versions show BASE HREF as IP (…)
    4. the DN versions show BASE HREF as DN (www.vivianhankin.com/…)

  7. on 21 Nov 2007 at 3:06 pm admin

    Hi Iamlost!
    It’s lovely to see you here. Your three suggestions have the wheels turning in my head (here in my California Igloo heh heh).

    I think the first thing we’ll need to do for this new client is to create an htaccess file that redirects the IP to the DN…and Mike Blumenthal is suggesting we contact Google and ask them to tell us what the deal might be with this.

    That being said, the site currently has no htaccess file, so one needs to be made to fix the www, non-www issue to begin with. I have some concerns about how we also redirect the IP in the htaccess. Has anyone here done this with both a DN and IP before? I’m going to ask around to see if anyone knows how to do this as we want to be sure to write it correctly. If any of my readers have experience with this, I’d surely appreciate advice.


  8. on 24 Nov 2007 at 8:24 pm Lori

    Oh, I didn’t know that the IP address takes you to the website URL…but that’s why I come here, to learn! Thanks =)

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply