bill - 7:22 am on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)
Here's what GoogleGuy had to say about this not so long ago:
Forget ccTLDs - it's local hosting time [webmasterworld.com]
Just to chime in on this, Google can determine a site is in France by the .fr or by using other information about the site. But a .fr TLD is reasonable assurance that the site is relevant to French users. I think just about every other search engine only goes by TLD, so TLD is still an important factor that site owners should take into account.