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Can I target different country Google indexes with one site?

     

FranticFish

3:59 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Few questions on the latest on being found overseas...

First, is there any way to reliably target different regional indexes with one site? As far as I can see in WMT, you can set one country only, and only have a choice if you have an 'international' domain such as .com, .info

Is there any way around this with subdomains?

Second, advantages to country-specific domains and hosting. As far as I can see, wherever you host and whatever your domain extension you will be included in the international results of any regional Google (at least for the terms I've tried the results were pretty similar). However I saw radically different results in the country-specific indexes.

So, for example, if a searcher in Google.fr clicks 'Pays : France' then how important would the following be:

- French hosting,
- a .fr domain,
- links from sites hosted in France
- links from sites in French

Particularly interested in hearing if the reality differs from Google's stated policy on this, as I know that in the past at least Google has got this very wrong on occasion. I remember the Google.co.uk 'UK sites only' bug that saw sites like ITV.com excluded from the index altogether for months.

Leosghost

4:50 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So, for example, if a searcher in Google.fr clicks 'Pays : France' then how important would the following be:

- French hosting,
- a .fr domain,
- links from sites hosted in France
- links from sites in French


Extremely important.

HuskyPup

5:00 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)



First, is there any way to reliably target different regional indexes with one site?


It's becoming increasingly difficult and if the first signs of the Google.co.uk Panda roll out are correct then it is going to be even more difficult.

I am seeing long-established UK .com sites being removed from their new results or so far down no one would go, gone, simply gone for all intents and purposes.

FranticFish

11:06 pm on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Thanks for the replies guys, looks like a site per country is the way to go.

phranque

4:54 am on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



if you are using a gTLD instead of a ccTLD, you can create multiple "sites" in GWT by specifying the various geo-targeted subdomains/subdirectories and then use [Site configuration/Settings/General settings/Geographic target] in GWT to assign a target country for each subdomain/subdirectory.

FranticFish

8:24 am on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I see, yes, you add the subfolder/subdomain as a separate site and then geotarget that. Thanks.

jamie

8:30 am on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



hmmm, playing devil's advocate here...

if for example you have a co.uk and .com and specify co.uk for the uk and .com for america. what about the australians, scandinavians, dutch and many others who read excellent english. this would cut you off from those countries?

FranticFish

12:26 pm on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



From what I can see, no.

The default in all Googles I've seen is to search 'the web' - and no matter where you're seen to be primarily based you can feature in that index. It does appear to have a certain country-specific slant though.

So in your example, I believe that it's only when a searcher toggles their results to see 'pages from the Netherlands' that your .co.uk and .com would not be seen.

SEOsoon

1:33 pm on Mar 29, 2011 (gmt 0)



The story might change at the moment when we will get new top level domains like example.newyork or example.ohio ...

phranque

4:47 pm on Mar 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



if for example you have a co.uk and .com and specify co.uk for the uk and .com for america. what about the australians, scandinavians, dutch and many others who read excellent english. this would cut you off from those countries?

.uk is not a generic TLD and implies UK by default.
.com is generic and would not be cut off from others/worldwide.
only the specifically geotargeted subdirectories/subdomains of the .com would be filtered for those locales.
any content not in a targeted hostname or subdirectory would remain generic/worldwide.

jamie

6:08 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



many thanks phranque - that is very good to know!

Corrine

1:17 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)



So if I have geotargeted subdirectories for .com do I still need to concern myself with the country I am hosting my domain

aakk9999

11:48 pm on May 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



So if I have geotargeted subdirectories for .com do I still need to concern myself with the country I am hosting my domain

It may affect the root (home page) if the root is untargeted.

It may also affect all other pages that do not sit in a country-specific folder.