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How long for geo targeting change in WMT to take effect?

     
11:22 pm on Dec 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I changed our country targeting for our main site in WMT from US to New Zealand which is where our target market is based about a week ago. Still no sign of Google indexing it in the results for New Zealand search on google.co.nz

Anyone have an idea how long it usually takes for that change to take effect?

11:58 pm on Dec 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I only have information from a small handful of cases, but it seems that this kind of change can take as much as 4 to 6 weeks. Even then, it wasn't like the sites involved came into great rankings, but at least they started to show up.

I guess there is a lot of complexity to geo-targetting and changes are not like simply throwing a switch.

2:27 am on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you move your server from one country to another Google first needs to crawl each single URL with the IP of the new country so it's slow process.

Google treats geo targetting URL based not site-wide.

Probably it works similar in the case you describe.

9:56 am on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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will let you know, as we switched across from Spain to UK in WMT about a week ago on a test site, just to study the effects.

site is a .com hosted in the US.

4:04 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It took about 6 weeks for my site.
4:38 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would think several months. Few things in Google take mere days.
5:24 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Situation: The server is hosted in USA. The domain is registered in USA. The content is UK oriented. Low traffic specialty site. (consistent 30-50 real page views per day). It took more than two months and less than six months. After two months I gave up checking, only to see it worked when I checked about six months later.
12:02 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From what I'm told, you should also relocate the site to a UK server to back up the geo-targetting change. I did exactly the same thing recently and left my site in the USA and saw no marked difference in UK traffic while US traffic reduced. I'm moving the site to the UK under advice.
12:45 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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edd1 - What else are you doing besides making the change in WMT? Do you have a .com or a .co.uk tld?

Make sure you have inbound links from New Zealand sites... ie, sites that do well in google.co.nz. I suspect that Australian links will help as well, but I'm not sure how Google slices up the territories down there.

You should also have localized New Zealand content on your site, including address info, phone numbers, NZ spelling where appropriate, etc.

3:36 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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A few variables I left out: it a .com domain, there are .co.uk sites linking to it, I rank #1 in all search engines for my keywords, and the domain had been established 5 years. Along with other comments, I did not see an increase in traffic. (Although I did not see a decrease) I would imagine most people do not click the "pages from the UK" radio button. I just checked, and my traffic did go up since last time I looked but it was because Wikipedia linked to me. It has actually surpassed my Google hits. Which is odd, considering I am above Wikipedia for the same keywords, which must mean more people are using Wikipedia to do searches than Google. (LOL) Ok, back on topic, I'd carefully consider your goals before paying for a high priced European server (or wherever you are targeting.) If you just want to increase traffic but you don't care where it comes from, I am guessing USA visitors will be your biggest group.
8:13 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do you have a .com or a .co.uk tld?

edd1 - Please forgive the typo. It should have been .co.nz. But I assumed that if you'd previously been in the US, you have a .com, so it's likely that inbound links will become a factor.

Google looks for all the confirming signals it can get, and hosting is only one of several. Generally, language and tld are the most important, but you can never ignore links.

In the case of countries with a more or less common language, with a .com tld, inbound links and content signals take on an even greater role. I myself don't put much trust into WMT preferences to significantly compensate for other factors.

If you just want to increase traffic but you don't care where it comes from, I am guessing USA visitors will be your biggest group.

liquiddog - The original question stated that the target market is based in New Zealand. Let's keep the discussion on that topic.

4:34 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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well this has happened far quicker than any of us thought it would.

we started getting hits a few days ago from a very sudden very strong showing in "pages from the UK" and many of the terms we monitor are now at parity (or even better) now on .co.uk and .com

and no noticable falls on .com either yet.

so far its perfect... we shall see I suppose. :)

2:59 am on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Guys

The domain is a .com as it was originally intended as a global site but we have been working hard now to target it at an NZ audience - the contact page has the NZ phone no. Also lots of links from other NZ sites.

I don't want to rehost it in New Zealand but I could do that if necessary. The Google video about geotargetting says you don't need to do that though.

I guess I'll just give it a few weeks and see how it goes.

Ed