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Will Geo-Location meta tags help in multi-region site?

12:38 pm on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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We are developing a <geo-based> site <targeting multiple countries>.

It will contain <listings> for some countries. Will Geo-Location meta will be of any use in such condition?

Will googlebots give preference to location, geo.region, country metas.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:57 pm (utc) on Nov 27, 2012]
[edit reason] examplified, added punctuation, line spaces [/edit]

12:05 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)


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

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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]
1:01 am on Nov 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Tags are some of those things that can't hurt but probably don't help anymore. You might even get an over-optimization penalty if you get it all right, Google doesn't want anything but content(and links) determining where a page ranks.

As for that article and language - Google has already stated that they don't even trust the lang tag anymore since it's set wrong on a lot of sites because of default template settings, they test for language on their own.
9:24 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

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Will Geo-Location meta will be of any use in such condition?

Will googlebots give preference to location, geo.region, country metas.

In the applicable section of the March 12, 2010 Google article that phranque references above, John Mueller of Google says...

Note that we do not use locational meta tags (like "geo.position" or "distribution") or HTML attributes for geotargeting. While these may be useful in other regards, we've found that they are generally not reliable enough to use for geotargeting.

"Not reliable" here might mean anything from accidentally-copied-from-a-template to hoping-to-influence-rankings. As Sgt_Kickaxe points out, Google hasn't found even language metadata, reliable enough to trust.

If the intention of the geo-location metas is to somehow make the listings appear more "authentically local" to Google, I don't think that's going to work.
10:15 pm on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I'm understanding the OP correctly then you should be considering microformats(.)org VS schema(.)org for structured data markup. I doubt meta head tags are worth anything now. I'm assuming you are referring to head meta tags as opposed to either of the 2 I mentioned?

A very basic primer: Those two streams of structured data presentation were sort of in competition to each other, just sort of, it wasn't a big war. Schema org appears to be the standard adopted by Google and Bing going forward. The geo info you want to implement is of course supported in the schema stream. They are a sub-set of meta tags.

The Drawbacks: schema org markup is only valid in HTML5. If you are using a DOCTYPE less than 5 you will need to go with microformats org but I don't know how much support the search engines have for it.

I just rolled out my first HTML5 site 3 days ago. The only reason I strayed away from my XHTML 1.1 preference was so I could use the schema markup. Google had the site index page in SERP less than 24 hours later (on page 1) and was using the rich text snippets from the schema markup as the description. Bing doesn't have it indexed yet.

Here's an example of what a markup might be for a local business...
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/localBusiness">
<div itemprop="name">Rudolph Enterprises</div>
<div itemprop="contactPoint">Santa Claus</div>
<div itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<span itemprop="streetAddress">343 High Point</span>
<span itemprop="addressLocality">Arctic Circle</span>
<span itemprop="addressRegion">NU</span>
<span itemprop="postalCode">H0H 0H0</span>
<span itemprop="telephone">777-777-7777</span>
<div itemprop="geo" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/GeoCoordinates">
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="77.777777" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="-77.777777" />

The nice thing about the above is that you can use the meta itemprop tags right in the body instead of the head and they are perfectly well acceptable to the search engine, validator, yet remain hidden from users (just the meta tagged ones).