We have decided to have a gTLD for our international markets and have subfolders for different countries.
I understand that with GWT I can set geotargeting to target a country using a specific folder. For examaple, /fr/ targets France, /de/ targets Germany etc.
I thought I knew the answer for this but wasn't sure. On the domain, we will also have pages that are not put in specific folders, which we were hoping that we could use to target the whole web. I assumed that if I do this on this gTLD domain, the root folder, or any subfolders to which I haven't assigned a country, will target internationally. Am I correct?
I have a situation similar to yours - a .com website that runs in 6 languages, where each language apart from English is in a language folder and geotargeted via WMT to a specific country, and the root domain of the website is set up in Geotargeting section as "Unlisted".
This seems to work fine for that site - language folders are geotargeted, whilst English pages are not even when they use some other (content-based) folder hierarchy in URL.
yes - that's how it should work. however you should be aware that server location is a geotargeting signal and if you eventually decide to locate the various country content in each country, you'll want those to be in subdomains rather than subdirectories.