Google thinks we're Canadian and our rankings in the US are non-existent to poor.
Here's the lowdown: - Locations in Montreal, NY, CT and TX (all in Google local + yelp, merchantcircle etc) - Site's 1 year old - Hosted in Texas - Whois under Canadian address - good backlinks ( possibly too many .ca ?)
I recently set our geographic target to United States in Webmaster Tools our of disparity.
Aside from age my site is as strong if not stronger than my competition but can't rank in the USA. Should i just concentrate on getting more US based backlinks? I've tried tipping the scales using local websites in the US (craigslist, kijiji, local dir's) but it doesn't seem to be helping.
I thought adding our locations to Google local 3 months ago would have tipped the Google algo.
Has anyone experienced this? Can a site be popular in both USA and Canada? Our business is suffering BIG TIME.
Sounds like the Whois is tripping you up - at least as one factor. The signals for location that I'm pretty sure I have identified are:
1. Webmaster Tools country target 2. The TLD (especially with country code TLDs) 3. The country location of your IP address block 4. Location of Whois registration 5. Location of backlink domains 6. On page content 7. Local Search listings
Country targeting is still a relatively young technology and it sometimes gets flakey. I'd suggest you take advantage of every signal that you can, and remove any ambiguity you can.
Depending on how long ago you changed you Webmaster Tools country targeting, it may be too soon to tell if it helped.
There's an entire section dedicated to threads about Geo-Targeted Search in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. You might find some more valu in reading through those threads.