bigtoga - 1:31 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the replies and ideas.
I've thought about the "click on your region" idea quite a lot actually - it was my first choice. There's a few other things going on that I haven't mentioned and I guess I need to tell.
(1) I think the ideal would be to serve users an entire site locally. We measure page load times across the world now and are getting <500ms for North America but sometimes in Europe/India/Australia that same page is as much as >3s.
(2) I'd like us to rank higher in those geographic locations than we currently do with just the .com. With a US-based IP and a >2s page load times in Brussels (for example), we just don't rank well at all to users in Belgium. Ideally, with a UK-based IP and a <500s load time, I'd like to think that our Euro-based site would rank higher to users in all of Europe. Our site ranks very high in US/Canada but considerably lower (if at all) in those regions with 2 and 3 second page load times. The question is really how to best do this *regionally* rather than by country (and without incurring duplicate content penalties).
(3) Because these are purchased downloads, if we did redirect someone to a different server to do the downloads, they'd have to still authenticate in some way - whether that be on the new site, or by a token. We've talked even about having just one site and a download manager application. The main problem here is development time - it's probably 6+ months before I have the time to code in a new way to download.