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Disabling Geo Targetting in GSC, risky?

     
5:36 pm on Oct 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

Several of my sites target English speaking visitors, no matter where they are.

6-7 years ago, in the GSC, I set the geo targetting of these sites to USA. However, today, I wonder if this was wise or not. May be I am missing traffic from UK, Australia, Canada, etc...

However, I worry that if I disable the geo targeting, I would loose part of my US traffic. What's your thoughts? (and experience?)

Thank you,
12:41 am on Oct 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I vaguely remember from years ago that someone somewhere said that setting geo-targeting to one country (such as the USA) won't increase google traffic from that country, but could reduce traffic from other countries.

But that's just what I seem to remember
4:36 pm on Oct 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If you're not targeting a specific country I wouldn't select one in gsc. That would only make sense if you had multiple versions of your website for different international audiences ie. ccTLD's or sub-folders

Even if you don't have a country selected Google will still associate you with one based on top-level domain, nap info, etc..
5:06 pm on Oct 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

Thank you for your answers.

Also, i'd like to know what is the difference between:

- checking the option, and selecting "undefined" as target country.

- unchecking the option

?
4:37 pm on Oct 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Also, I'd like to know what is the difference between:
- checking the option, and selecting "undefined" as target country.
- unchecking the option?


I remember that, years ago, when I asked the same question on a Google's forum, the reply was:
"Undefined" means that Google won't geotarget your site at all. Unchecking the option means that you allow Google to try to geotarget your site on its own through a number of signals (server location, incoming links, and so on).

I tried both options at different times and I didn't see any change in the traffic profile and or/in local rankings. Since then, I am simply ignoring GSC geotargeting at all.
6:55 pm on Oct 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The Geo-Targeting controls in the GSC simply allows you to override Google's default geotargeting for your site. See Google's Working with Multi-Regional Sites [webmasters.googleblog.com]. This stuff has barely changed since the turn of the century.
7:16 pm on Oct 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The Geo-Targeting controls in the GSC simply allows you to override Google's default geotargeting for your site. See Google's Working with Multi-Regional Sites [webmasters.googleblog.com]. This stuff has barely changed since the turn of the century.


Any proof that it does really override Google's default geotargeting for a site, at least for languages other than English and (possibly) Spanish?

I remember some Google's guy explaining that that tool was mainly intended to correctly target commercial sites (especially online shopping's) in some specific English-language regions (i.e. it would be utterly unuseful to serve a Tasmania-based car dealer's website to customers in southern California). Yet, it makes not much sense to Italian, German, Dutch, Japanese, or Russian websites, since they target almost exclusively ONE single country (maybe two for German). Therefore, GSC geotargeting is simply worth nothing for websites targeting users in most European and Asian countries, because it was not designed for that purpose.
5:15 am on Oct 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Geotargeting and language are separate issues when it comes to search engines. To the extent that these factors can be thought of as filters, each of them is applied separately. The Google Webmaster Blog article I referenced explains all this. And, in any case, yes, the setting in the GSC does override Google's default behavior for geotargeting.
6:48 am on Oct 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I see this as a placebo by g for the webmaster ... they will geo-locate per THEIR algos regardless what you input.

YMMV
.
5:04 pm on Oct 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello-

"Undefined" means that Google won't geotarget your site at all. Unchecking the option means that you allow Google to try to geotarget your site on its own through a number of signals (server location, incoming links, and so on).

It makes sense, thank you! So, if this option is "really" used, to target international visitors, it's best to check the option, and choose "undefined", to avoid being more or less restricted to a given country.