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So, I recently discovered the LOC record type for DNS, which allows you to identify a location for the related server.

It appears that the usage has some ambiguitiy and could identify the server location, the location of the business premises of the people using or running the server, the location of the targetted end users or just about anywhere.

At first this seemed like it would be great for location related SEO, tag your business location and surely this would add extra weight to your geographical end user targetting (of your website for example). However, it seems that Google have said they don't use this for SEO purposes.

So my question is... What is the point then? Sure it could be intended for "whatever the server admin wants", but surely when this record type was conceived, it must have had a specific reason for being. Otherwise, it just wouldn't have got pushed into the DNS specs.

I can't find anything that gives this a real defined reason for being. Any ideas?

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I can't find anything that gives this a real defined reason for being. Any ideas?

The appropriate RFC - RFC 1876 A Means for Expressing Location Information in the Domain Name System has "EXPERIMENTAL" as its status.

It goes on to say:

This memo defines a new DNS RR type for experimental purposes. This RFC describes a mechanism to allow the DNS to carry location information about hosts, networks, and subnets.

And:

5.1 Suggested Uses

Some uses for the LOC RR have already been suggested, including the USENET backbone flow maps, a "visual traceroute" application showing the geographical path of an IP packet, and network management applications that could use LOC RRs to generate a map of hosts and routers being managed.

The "Security Considerations" are quite amusing:

  1. Security Considerations

    High-precision LOC RR information could be used to plan a penetration of physical security, leading to potential denial-of-machine attacks. To avoid any appearance of suggesting this method to potential attackers, we declined the opportunity to name this RR "ICBM".

Note that the DNS LOC record appears to be largely unused. ClouldFlare has this to say:

One little used type of DNS record is the LOC (or location). It allows you to specify a physical location. CloudFlare handles millions of DNS records; of those just 743 are LOCs.

Source The weird and wonderful world of DNS LOC records

Here is a list of Sites supporting DNS LOC.

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  • It still sounds like no-one really knows it's purpose, which seems amazing considering how many good ideas take years to get into official standards across the tech world. Yet somehow this thing managed to get into circulation with only a couple of "I suppose you could use it for this" type reasons. The cloudflare link was the only info if actually found about the subject. I guess the lack of use is down to a real lack of purpose. – Phill Healey Jul 19 '17 at 1:20
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Try it out.

I don't believe there is current evidence published on the internet that explain any real benefits. I use a LOC record, because I host my own web server and want to tell whoever is looking programmatically where I locally serve for my IT services, also because I personally believe that Google discriminates between self-hosted and larger providers. Using my crazy anecdotal evidence, I configured my LOC record about 2 years ago, and have NOT noticed or measured any noticeable SEO improvement in terms of successful customer conversion rate as of December 2018. It's best not to use this experimental DNS feature yet, unless you are willing to give up a bit of privacy in a sort of way. If you believe that you will benefit one day by implementing it, then do it. Entering a LOC record doesn't physically hurt you, but also keep in mind that you are giving away more information than what you need to when you configure a LOC record, and that some day in the future your locale via a LOC record could be used as a tool of oppression depending on future geopolitics.

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