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50% revenue from 1 country - to Geotarget or not?

     
5:23 am on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 47
votes: 2


I have a website with the following traffic pattern:

Traffic:

85% - India
10% - US
05% - Others (Mostly UK/Middle East)

Revenue:

60% - India
28% - US
12% - Others

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It has a generic top level domain name.

It used to be hosted in India and the GSC geotargeting was set to 'unspecified' or 'unlisted' (actually, it wasn't set at all).

Due to rising traffic and server costs and increasing network problems with my current host, I'm moving it outside India -- either to Singapore, EU or US West Coast. (I've already tried alternate hosts in India, but none were able to satisfy my need for speed, DDoS protection, backups etc.)

Google has this warning about moving hosts outside the target country:

"If you change hosting provider for a country domain, there should be no impact. If you change the hosting provider of an international domain to a provider in another country, we recommend using Search Console to tell us which country your site should be associated with."

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This would indicate that with the move, the site's geotargetting (as far as Google is concerned) will also change with it to Singapore/France/US (as the case may be).

I can override this by manually specifying a value in the GSC (currently unset).

But the trouble with manual setting is that I can only choose one country, while I the maximum revenue that a single country contributes is 50%.

In this situation, which of the following course of actions would you recommend?

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1) Try again to find a better host in India and keep Geotargeting 'unspecified' (status quo, but with higher costs, potential hosting issues)

2) Carry on with the move and manually set Geotargetting to India (much lower costs (while maintainiing status quo?))

3) Move to Singapore (close to India) and set Geotargeting to unspecified (hoping that Google will see that it's close to India and therefore India will be included in the target)

4) Move to US and keep Geotargetting unspecified in GSC?

Ideally, I don't really want any Geotargetting, given the revenue generation pattern I have.

But given that mine's a generic top level domain, that option simply doesn't seem to exist as keeping it unspecified in GSC simply means that Google will associate the site with the location of the IP address (or am I wrong here?)

Thanks for your consideration.
3:48 pm on Dec 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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

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If you want to geotarget a specific country, put the names of some of the cities and states of that country on your site, as well as content that will interest the people of that country. Server location is probably also a factor.

Using GSC to target a country might not increase traffic from that country, but could reduce traffic from other countries.
1:12 am on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 47
votes: 2


These are news articles. And most of the articles refer to India either explicitly or implicitly. If Google's looking for cues from the content, it's not going to have to look too hard. But I did move the hosting to a US location a week ago and noticed a 50% drop in my India traffic (which was about 80-85% of the total traffic).
There was a doubling of traffic from the US.
It was pretty clear that Google is now targeting the US market for my website and not the Indian market.
5:50 pm on Dec 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 17, 2010
posts: 113
votes: 3


As noted in your reply since your move, Google "decided" you want to target the US due to your move to a US server, are you willing to basically start over building your revenue from the US market? What means of revenue do you have (or plan) that would suit the US market?

If it was me, I would have kept looking for a suitable server in India even if it meant a custom hosting plan seeing the information targets those from India. Word gets around.

If you have a good site those interested will hear about you/find you no matter what part of the world they are in. You now have to decide if you want to invest in rebuilding.
7:24 am on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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joined:Aug 22, 2017
posts: 47
votes: 2


I am currently trying setting 'India' in GSC geo targeting option and hoping Google will take a cue. Shall update if it works. So far, it's so so..