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Geo targeting in WMT - too artificial

     
9:17 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I was wondering what the sentiment is out there amongst webmasters on Google's geo target settings in WMT.

For the site's we look at it's way too artificial and a concern to manage. For example if you're targeting a destination market that gets attention from several viewer markets , artificial political boundaries make no sense.

Creating multiple sites to handle multiple regions with the same content is probably not best practice and a management nightmare.

So in my opinion , Google needs to enable multi location targeting to web pages. Any thoughts ? Any ideas on why Goog didn't step a bit further into the flexibility of this geo settings tool ?
12:34 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just add a directory separately and geotarget accordingly.
3:46 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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With smaller sites i see this as easy , but with larger sites the management could be difficult, at least that's the way i see it. With enterprise level sites i think it would be very difficult Y/N ?
10:01 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You only need to manage as many WMT-profiles as you have languages. So five languages is five profiles. Seems pretty manageable to me.
11:05 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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An added challenge come up with enterprise sites that need to target several countries that all speak a version of the same language. Because you can set up individual directories separately within WMT, you can set up the URLs with two directories, one for the language and one for the country:

example.com/en/au/
example.com/en/uk/
example.com/en/za/

example/com/fr/fr/
example.com/fr/be/
example.com/fr/ch/

...and so on.
12:05 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Tedster, are you suggesting having the same page in French language that is accessible via three different URLs (one for France, one for Belgium and one for Switzerland)?

Wouldn't this create duplicate content issue or would it not matter because each URL is targeting a different country?
1:24 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The country targeting seems to take care of it. Remember, there is no duplicate content "penalty", it's a filter that works toward preventing duplicate content from being returned on one search.

This scheme also allows you to take care of the local country variations in language that always exist. I would always suggest hiring a native speaker to advise on localizing the language on the site. Still, some pages may be very close to duplicate,
3:45 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Call it a penalty or a filter, it doesn't matter, with enough dupes, you can kill ALL of the pages, including the originals you want in. Why trust google to figure out which ones you want in the SERPs?

I recently had 5000 dupes of my home page. My home page disappeared from the SERPs. Including my site links. I used the URL Removal Tool to delete all 5000 dupes, and within 2 days, my home page was back, with site links.

I do not think it is a very good idea to knowingly create URLS that serve the same content, or close to the same content. You are taking a very big chance...
4:55 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sure, that can happen. But I'm not suggesting 5000 dupes all in the same directory with the same country targeting.
5:01 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So could Google help by improving the way this is done inside WMT ?
 

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