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Getting search traffic from any country

     
8:31 am on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

I run a website written in English and hosted in Spain.

When I make a google search, I get very good positions for my main keywords, but when people from US or UK make the same searches, my website goes down several pages in the SERP.

Is it possible to "force" google via SEO to provide always global results for my website?

In other words, is it possible to tell google to "ignore" the country where the web is hosted?

Thanks for your help.
9:31 am on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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It is clear from results on google.co.uk that preference is given to uk sites even on a full web search.

I believe that you can set the target country in webmastertools but I am not aware of any way to make your site "international".

The TLD can make a difference as can the location. Is your site example.es or example.com?
12:07 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is your domain .com? Those are better for international traffic.
You can make local pages for US or UK to attract more traffic. You could also link to those country local pages from the target country.
12:12 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I use:

[google.com...]

and

[google.com...]

Any good for you?
12:56 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I also use this Firefox add-on:

[addons.mozilla.org...]

When using this you need to enter a search term into Google and then select whichever country you want to check, currently only USA, UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia.
11:29 pm on Sept 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Even if you leave WMT localisation option as neutral G will still localise the site through the server IP address.

I would host it in the US or UK if you want a more global audience. Also make sure the html tag has the language attributes set to English might help.
9:09 am on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your posts.

My web is example.com and the language attribute is set to English.

I am really astonished that google does not allow to make a real international search.

In my case the positions in SERP are so different that throw away all my SEO efforts.

This is really disappointing.

Thanks for your nice comments.
2:53 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think you have to ask yourself why you're hosting an English website in Spain. If you want native English-speaking people to potentially find your site more easily then I'd switch to a US or UK-based host.
3:08 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Language and geo-location are separate issues. Since you have a .com domain and are hosted in Spain, Google and the other major search engines will see your site as having a geo-location in Spain. The search engines operate on the theory that the closer a user is to the geo-location of a website, the more relevant such sites will tend to be for that user. This means you will tend to rank higher for searchers in Spain, but lower for searchers in other countries. It's not that you can't rank well outside of Spain, but just that you'll have to be just that much stronger to do so.

As others have mentioned, you could select a Geographic Target in Google's Webmaster Tools console if you'd prefer your site to be seen as having a different geo-location in order to target the US or UK as your primary audience. If it's appropriate for your site, you could even set a Geographic Target on selected subdirectories or subdomains within your site.
4:53 am on Sept 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you make a section for USA and add relevant info and examples, then send links to that section from USA websites with similar content, you will get s better ranking from USA.
7:52 am on Sept 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all for your comments.

I changed my Geographic Target to US. Hope this will make some difference...
9:49 pm on Sept 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you could even set a Geographic Target on selected subdirectories or subdomains within your site

Does anyone know whether it makes sense to do this but maintain the root site as geographcally neutral? Could I gain traffic by doing this? I have several subdirectories that are country-specific and, according to Analytics, for the most important one I get double the traffic from the country in question than from the UK. At the moment the whole site is set as neutral but hosted in the UK.
10:02 pm on Sept 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It makes sense if those subdirectories are truly "localized" in some way - language and currency being the obvious ones, but other types of local targeting can come into the picture, too. However, I would only do it if the current traffic is poorly targeted. If the subdirectories are doing well, then don't mess with it.
 

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