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Geo targeting - same language, different countries



7:51 am on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

We are in serps in US google, but not in the UK, Australia.
Also we have non-english translations of the website - these options works very well.
Are there any logic options to make uk.domain.com? We can add United Kingdom in the description and texts. Can this do though in www.google.co.uk ? Same with AU.

Website content fits all countries.


10:42 am on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I worked with a large website that had many translations and three English websites (.com, .co.uk, and .com.au). The only differences between the three English websites were a few spelling and wording changes (flashlight -> torch, localize -> localise, etc), the currency shown, and the products that were featured on the homepage customized to local tastes.

With the top level domain, Google eventually seemed to get the targeting right (although it looked like they made an algorithm change in January 2009 to make that happen). All three were hosted in the US, we probably could have done better with local hosting.

My current website is translated, but not localized (I just have one English website.) It seems to rank well enough in UK, Australia, and India that I'm not planning to localize it at this time. I'm not sure what I've done to make that happen though.


5:27 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes, you can create different hostnames (subdomains) for different countries. It might be easier for you to administer, however, I have heard quite a few reports that country-code TLDs have worked out better in practice.

Here's a Google reference that might help - no matter which way you go:

Q: Can I target different English-speaking countries separately with the same content?
A: We recommend using unique and locally-relevant content whenever possible, but we understand that this is not always possible. The "rel-alternate-hreflang [sites.google.com]" annotation can let us know about alternate versions of the same content, which we use to show the optimal URL for the user in search results where your site is shown.

If you do end up using a subdomain schema, I'd suggest verifying each subdomain as a website in WebmasterTools and then geo-targeting each one except perhaps for the "most international" and least localized content. That's probably your plain-old dot-com content.


6:39 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

it might be worth hosting some of these country-specific subdomains (or ccTLDs if you use them) in the subject countries.
hosting location is one of the Geotargeting Factors used by google.

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Working with multi-regional websites:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/03/working-with-multi-regional-websites.html [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]

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