I'm struggling to make any inroads in attempts to boost my Google Australia ranks for a few Australia specific sites.
I do much better in the US and the UK (the US is where the sites are hosted and the UK is where I am). In Google US I tend to show up 2nd behind Wikipedia. In the UK I tend to be first or second (typically better than the US version - possibly because the sites were on .co.uk domains prior to .com's and in most cases the UK domains still point to the sites through a 301 redirect). In Google Australia I barely make it onto the first page, ranking behind various .com.au domains semi related to the topic.
The sites are fairly niche (I would expect more searches to come from Australia and the rest from the UK) so ranking so poorly in Google Australia is an issue.
Is there any way to improve the Australian rankings. I suspect .com.au backlinks would be hard to come by so would something like adding "Australia" into the page description / title help? Would a com.au domain boost things (or perhaps finding an Australian host for the sites)?
These are hobby sites (and don't make enough revenue wise to really consider paid backlinks).
It's just frustrating because they're the only specific pages around so it feels weird that Google Australia is so indifferent to them.
I'm thinking to just try and ramp updates and content addition to try for word of mouth as a partial solution (the Wikipedia page, which is at #1 for a Google Australia search, references the site a few times helps I guess) though I was hoping there was something I might have overlooked that might be causing the lacklustre Google Australia response.
[edited by: Idris at 3:24 pm (utc) on Oct. 8, 2008]
If your site uses a generic Top Level Domain Name like .com, .net, .org, or .info and is hosted in the US, the major search engines will generally consider your site's geo-location to be in the US. You can mitigate the problem in Google by selecting a Geographic Target in the Webmaster Tools Console, but that won't help with the other search engines. Your best choices would be to either switch to a .au domain name or move to a host whose servers are located in Australia.