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How to SEO for a worldwide audience?
local domains with 302 re-directs?

 2:21 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey everyone,

After a few opinions on what's the best approach to SEO for a worldwide target audience. Have done some reading about the subject but not enough to convince me of a good approach.

Obviously, the ideal is to have separate domains, and separate sites, all hosted in each individual country. But that's not a good solution in this case - we're talking very specialist and small volume services market - < 3000 searches per month across all keywords.

The starting point would be a .com domain hosted in the UK.

From what I've read so far, the next best option would be to get other country domains, and 302 redirect them to the .com, whilst being careful with site structure - only using relative links so the change in domain doesn't effect absolute links.

There's also geographical targeting in Webmaster Tools, but I think you can only use this to set one country per site? (it would be useful if you can set country per subdomain or subfolder).

Another thing I've read is to link build with other sites with that specific ccTLD, which enhances the idea that your content is useful to people in that country.

Any other ideas / opinions / help?



 10:15 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd always go for the easiest route - one .com

You certainly could have myriad local sites, but compare the resources you'd need to apply to build, maintain, market, seo - and avoid duplicate content.

Rarely worth it. Even if you want to accept different currencies, that can be done on one site. This advice does not apply if different languages are required.

Should you decide to proceed, however, don't go down the 302 route - use 301 permanent redirect.


 10:51 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks, obviously that would also be an ideal. BUT - how do you get a .com hosted in the UK to rank well and have visibility say in Mexico for example?

The different lanaguages thing might be something we look into further down the line.


 11:38 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

.coms can do wellin any country - that does not, of course, mean that it's easy!

But seo-ing one site has to be easier than seo-ing a bundle.

You can always consider one or two 'local' ones if REALLY needed - for example, (and I could be wrong), Australia favours .com.au significantly more than the UK favours .co.uk - but even so, .coms can still do well.

And it's about branding and, lets face it, it is the world wide web; I'd always argue that the default for an international site is one .com; if local needs or conditions or your market suggest otherwise, then go with that. But .com IS international.


 12:38 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

i know .com is international - and i said i wasn't going to be doing separate sites at the start of the original post.

my question was... would buying say a .com.au, and a .co.nz then forwarding them to the .com, help rankings in australia and new zealand respectively (for example)? more so than it would without...

some reading i've done elsewhere on the web suggested that using a 301 to do that re-direct would render the initial new domain useless, as the spider will only index the end domain, where as a 302 isn't permanent, so would render both...? although the article was 2 years old...


 3:14 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Google geographic targeting tool is just a dummy tool. I think it must be in its beta-testing phase.

However a .com/.net/.org these general keywords will always score worldwide rannkings. However in certain cases your .co.uk domain or com.au domain can also appear worldwide ( if it is popular)


 3:32 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

would buying say a .com.au, and a .co.nz then forwarding them to the .com, help rankings in australia and new zealand

It's good to have control of related TLD's from other countries but in my own experience there's no discernible ranking boost from that kind of redirect.

Something that would help a lot more would be to start getting links from sites which are located within the countries where you'd like to rank well. If you want to convince Google that you deserve to rank well in Australia, for example, cultivate some links to your .com from sites that are themselves hosted in Australia and and/or on .com.au domains. Earning clear endorsements from sites in Australia will do a lot more to help you rank there than just redirecting a .com.au domain.


 3:46 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Agree with Q and BW, local links will help "foreign" pages rank in national Gs.


 6:02 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

excellent thanks Buckworks, some good advice there.

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