What you are looking at is a grahical network trace route to the Association Touristique Laurentides Website. You can learn a great deal about network architecture and how the internet operates by running traceroute on websites that you access. If you are a businessman considering setting up a website, it certainly is in your interest to know the network architecture and how the main markets you are trying to target will access your website. While it is true information can be stored anywhere on the internet and be retreived, it is not a perfect world. The speed with which any webpage is delivered to your screen, depends on several things. One of the most important measures is how many "hops" between routers and network access points the information requested must make before it is delivered.
The trace route above of the ATL is a perfect example of a website located on an inappropriate server far from the main markets likely to access the information. There are literally hundreds of thousands of these "misplaced" websites all over the net by businesses not knowing better! If you are a businessman setting up a website and not aware of these things you are not going to get the performance and return that you should from your website.
Let's just examine the ATL site for a moment and my specific request for it from one of LaurentianWeb's servers "Inagua". When Inagua made the request it sent it via Internet Laurentides which is connected to its provider ISTAR in Montreal. The request is then forwarded to alter.net in New York and makes its way back via teleglobe to Videotron's network and then to a server in Chicoutimi! It actually makes 20 "hops" before getting to where its going! Every hop is a potential congestion point in getting to where you want to go. If any of these transfer points along the route are running close to capacity your website will be delivered more slowly.
Since the ATL is reaching out to a wide audience and hoping for a maximum of number of people to browse its website, it should be located on a server that has a high bandwidth connection as close as possible to a Network Access Point (NAP) to its main market where requests will originate. Where is this? For ATL it would be a server directly connected to the NAP in New York. This would cut in half the number of hops to the website for people making requests to the site from almost anywhere - Montrteal, Toronto, Quebec City, New York, Boston. Faster access=less frustration for your potential client.
Moreover since the ATL site is located on a server well off the beaten path, the frequency with which the main webcrawlers of the main search engines access that server is very limited. If you are targeting a large audience with constantly updated information, you want to make sure you are located on a server that is wormed once a week at least to get all your pages indexed. It is common sense to realize a server located in Chicoutimi Quebec well off the beaten path probably will not be wormed.
If you run a search on altavista for www.laurentides.com you won't get any pages directly from the site.
Like any business, you have to ask questions! At LaurentianWeb we are happy to advise you where you should physically locate your website to take advantage of the network architecture and where your market is.
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