JHN_Design - 9:45 pm on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm sorry Leo but, I don't agree with you, you can rank high in Google.fr without having a .fr
Try by yourself "création site internet" for instance, which is high competition, the serp (with 50 results) is:
12 are .fr
rest are .com .net .org even .be and .ca
The .fr, as a french IP does help for sure but is not mandatory.
Otherwise, I do agree with you about back-links from .fr website and french IP, it's a strong signal to Google that the website is related to France.