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How to rank and get links in a country where sites are scarce?

 7:39 am on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi all, I'm having some difficulties deciding on what the best approach would be to rank in a certain country where the SERP results are pretty bad for the google (country extension). I've went ahead and gone my normal route of buying the domain from the country specific host, putting it on a server located in that country, using the .correctextension, outlinking to authority sites in that country for my industry etc.

The main thing I'm find is it's very difficult to get links. Unfortunately paid links are the only way to get links for my industry, the only natural links we get are from forums.

I'm guessing the only strategy would be to get links from the .com sites that rank decently in the country we want to rank in since the .country extensions are gawd awful?



 1:42 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a secret to share with you. Developing links is hard in any country.

When doing link development seek out links that are as relevant as possible. This does not mean you can only gian links from exact matching sites. it means to try to gain links that are as relevant as possible. Luckily for us the term relevant can mean many things.

If you can not find sites that have the same country domain extension then go after sites that share a common language. If you have a US widgets website it would be relevant to gain links from a UK widget site.

Again using the US widget site as an example, it would also be relevant to gain links from French widget sites in case people from France are traveling in the US and need a widget or someone in France wants to buy a widget for their US relative.


 6:40 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

The problem is this is not working in this Country specific SERPS. Sites for the most competitive global phrases aren't even on the first page, they are ranking sites mainly based on age and their .countryextension.

The only solution I've come up with is to buy links from other countries and use the country name I'm trying to rank for in the anchor and other variations of that such as surrounding text to associate, it is english speaking with no specific dialect such as UK vs USA.

:/ Personally I don't agree with the 'secret'. :( Money talks just about every time...


 7:11 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

the only natural links we get are from forums.

Not to sound facetious, but you're not trying hard enough. My industry is overloaded, there's no one giving out links automatically, but I can still get links - I just have to look harder.

First, in addition to everything goodroi said, set the country in your Google webmaster account. All of those things combined should ensure that Google knows where you are. Google is very good at this IMO - so if they're not ranking you, look to you not them.

Get listed in some local directories. That's not going to put you to #1 by any stretch, but it's another signal.

I personally wouldn't be dropping the country in anchor text, but there's nothing wrong with getting links from say US based companies that say 'for widgets in zanibia, see wwwdotwidgetsdotzn'. I like getting links like that. I imagine that they help make me authoritiative on the web.

And lastly, if you can't get links in your niche, just broaden your niche slightly. Who services your niche. Who produces or manufactures in your niche. Who consumers product in your niche. So on.


 8:16 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi Wheel, thanks for the info. Directories have helped a bit and I will get more.

I've set the GWT to the country, but unfortunately this only helps when someone clicks on the 'search in (country)' link on the left of the search. We are #2 when we do that for highest searched term, but nobody clicks it as the country is influenced too much by their natural search for this industry, unknowingly it is awful info they are receiving.

Yes I agree with you on this, and it has helped in other countries. This is the main strategy I think will work for now.

"getting links from say US based companies that say 'for widgets in zanibia, see wwwdotwidgetsdotzn'."

But for this below, I'm definitely trying and have been for 8 years now, and despite having a top 10 most popular site in my industry...nobody would link out. Maybe like a few blog links. Just doesn't make sense to try for a month to get 1 so,so link when it can just be bought in an hour.

-the only natural links we get are from forums-
"Not to sound facetious, but you're not trying hard enough."

Thanks for the info guys, I think we have a decent strategy now!


 8:30 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's odd. Google should normally default to google.(your local tld) for the country you're in.

In my niche, even without clicking on 'results from my country', the serps are pretty much already from my country.

When I click on 'results only from my country', pretty much all that happens is they get rid of wikipedia.

So, it's not Google screwing up - they know what they're doing. There's something about those other sites that tells Google they're relevant to visitors from your country.

I've no idea what that is, other than my mantra 'more, stronger links'.


 8:48 pm on Oct 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree with timetraveller, it can be very hard in some counties to get links. Same for me, or at least that's what I experience. (I might be doing stuff wrong) but I also have an English site and getting links there is easier, getting great links is just as though.

What I did was trying to find businessespartners and ask them to link to me. It takes a lot of time but after a year it starts to pay off. I also use a lot of social media to get exposure, not sure how those links count.

At this stage I'm thinking to write English content with a subject which should score in my niche (think extreme things ) and send it to English relevant sites. In the end a link is a link.

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