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So yes, it might be a smart move to host a site targeting US users inside the US.
Maybe I will just open another mirrored .ca site and have it hosted in Canada, and move the .com site.
I just hope Google doesn't penalize the dup. content of the .ca. Hmmm... maybe I should just get a .com and forget the .ca idea.
[edited by: bobmark at 9:28 pm (utc) on Sep. 24, 2002]
Nevertheless, it clearly demonstrates this filter is a selectable option for Google partners.
At the time being anyhow language and ccTLDs are the standard filter options at Google.
The searches were made with a very competitive two keyword combination that is the same in all languages (first and last name of some well known personalities).
This would mean that the domain gets the local boost and not the hosting location. Which would make some sense for Google.
I have sites hosted in Canada and have seen no negative effects in google. My company is US based.
Now that you mention it though, I do notice I receive a fair number of inquiries from Canada even though the contact information for the site is clearly in the US.
Now that you double mention it I tested a search in google.ca/.com for my keywords:
In the regular search I am number 6. When you do a search just for "pages from Canada" I am number one for the same keywords. Weird.
Let me add to this that originally IP numbers were handed out to various organizations and certain nations were also attached to some IP ranges BUT today IP addresses are scarce and a class C can be bought and sold to another party. Thus what may at one time have been an US class C could end up in Canada or in Europe or in the UK. It is highly unlikely that a search engine would discriminate on the basis of IP address alone.
Now the question about mirroring vs. aliases.
If you have two urls say widget.ca and widget.com hosted by the same ISP with the same IP address, I call this aliasing, and I presume Google does not care about this. At least I have never lost my position in Google.
However if the widget.com and widget.ca is hosted by two separate ISP's (and separate IP addresses), then this is called mirroring, and Google does not like this one bit.
In both cases the url points to a web page with identical content.
Am I correct.
True. But it's actually very easy to check where an IP is located at any given time.
>It is highly unlikely that a search engine would discriminate on the basis of IP address alone
Unlikely as it may be, it happens at the time we are speaking. Nevertheless, I'd expect more of a mixture of IP, legal and content related targeting in the near future.
Thinking about dedicated business/service searches as well as personalised searches this certainly would make sense from Google's and other SEs POV.
<added>To clarify: I do not claim it happening at this time at Google itself.</added>
[edited by: heini at 11:51 pm (utc) on Sep. 24, 2002]
They use it for adwords select, since advertisers can select the countries they wish their ads displayed.
I have to use anonymizer to see my competitors ads on the US version of Google, since if I come in without IP blocking, they only show the Canadian adwords.
Because more and more people are using privacy packages to surf the web, I doubt that Search Enginges would restrict results be country, unless the advertiser requests it.
The IP filter does **ss me off a lot, as I don't show up on searches in google for a 'uk only' search.
I have my address and contact information throughout the site, and this doesn't make any difference (I remember someone suggested it would solve it in a thread a while back).
My rankings on MSN UK are also pants compared to MSN.com. For example I show up as No1 for a search for "widgets in my locality" on MSN.com but nowhere to be found in the UK version. The same applies to Google for a couple of keyphrases.
This is mad. It defies the whole ethos of the web. Just beacause I use a COM domain and are hosted in the US, searches that are UK specific to the UK don't include me.
Global ecomony :-) hehe, nice dream.
Another irritating fact of life for non-U.S. sites is that it doesn't matter if you have a 500 page site devoted to NOTHING but say Canadian books, if amazon.com etc, have a page or two devoted to the same content, they will always rank ahead of you on a search for say Books by Canadian Authors
Bobmark I dont agree with that. Most of my mid size-client (host in canada) who resell big brand usually do better than the manufacturer of the product in a search of keywords in Google. And the funniest part, is a canadian scholar book reseller i got always (90%) beat the original publisher.
If I miss out on 11% of the Google.fr searches [webmasterworld.com] because of this option, that's still 4% of total searches. Or, looking at my stats, setting up a .fr version of my site is worth more than trying to do well in MSN or Altavista and Google's market share is only rising...
Assuming that a COM domain is hosted in the US is a little silly no?
All websites should be aloud to compete on an even playing field. I mean hey, I can't even comete in my locality the way the UK specific searches have been setup, which is a little absurd.
I can see that occasionally people may want to try and narrow their search by locality, but the current systems in place for judging where a website serves are totally inadeqaute.
Judging a site's location by IP and domain extension do not even come close to achieving the objective, which is to show websites that "serve" a particular region, not that are physically located in that region.
Just my tuppence worth