| 4:17 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Yes, a country-specific TLD plus a hosting location outside the US can really hurt a site that's targeting the US. Do you have a Webmaster Tools account, and if so, have your tried the geo-targeting options in there?
Another help would be more backlinks from solid US sites.
| 6:53 am on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)|
I didn't remember ever seeing an .ie TLD page ranking in Google US on general subjects, so I did some Ireland-related searches for the kinds of sites that might logically originate in Ireland, and a few .ie domains did show up, but not nearly as many as one would expect.
I'd try getting links from US-hosted sites before I'd change the TLD. Changing domains would cost you a chunk of time and then some.
| 12:24 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Tedster - in the webmaster tools its not possible to change the preferred country targeting if you use a country TLD, and I agree with you on the hosting issue but really think this isn't the 80/20 solution that will benefit the site's ranking.
Robert - I think you're right. I checked the competitors in the SERPS for our keyword phrase. There is only one company with a country TLD in the top 100 google listings and that company has over 800 really high quality inbound links compared to our 72 medium-to-high quality links. Acquiring that number of inbound links is extremely difficult and expensive in our industry and would probably take several years.
Time to consider moving to a .com. Ouch!
thank you both!
| 6:54 pm on Mar 28, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|in the webmaster tools its not possible to change the preferred country targeting if you use a country TLD |
Thanks for the information, I never knew that. There's certainly a strong message being delivered by Google, eh?
| 6:48 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)|
|Time to consider moving to a .com. |
Again, changing domains is not to be done lightly.
I'd first check the backlinks the of the .com competition, to see what links they've needed to get where they are.
Something I wouldn't ordinarily suggest, but you might want to consider before dropping your .ie domain, would be to build a second site on a .com, with new content. Eventually, if you don't care about Irish and UK rankings, you might want to move your .ie content to it... but don't just switch cold to a new .com. I hear doing this is not as bad as it used to be, but it used to be really bad.
| 8:08 am on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)|
Whatever you do, beware of duplicate content issues, that can serious depress everything
| 12:19 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)|
With G boosting regional results a "foreign" ccTLD is at a disadvantage, if the site is targeting the English speaking market I'd switch to a "general" TLD.
Take your case, in theory hosting in the UK will help in G.co.uk through inclusion in the "Pages from the UK" listings, but that doesn't apply to foreign ccTLDs.
| 1:22 pm on Mar 29, 2008 (gmt 0)|
if you are targeting US, a .com is a must IMO. People might be less likely to click on a .ie even if it ranks high.
I will soon do a UK version of my .com and I plan on doing it uk.myname.com (and of course use G's goetargeting) so I get the "it's local" effect for the users (uk.) and the benefits of a great name. If I had the .co.uk, I'd use that, but I do not so ...