Making the Most of Your Google Search Rankings with Geotargeting

Making the Most of Your Google Search Rankings with Geotargeting


Google's goal is to return the most relevant and useful sites in response to a user query. For example, the results Google shows to a user using the UK-specific search may vary from the results returned to a user using google.com's general search.

This is quite a complex area.  Here's some examples to confuse you:

- If a website is hosted in the UK, but has a .com domain extension, the site will show in both google.com's general search and google.co.uk's country-specific search - this is because Google checks the ip address of where the site is hosted and uses this when listing the site

- If a website is hosted in the US, but has a .co.uk domain extension, the site will still show in both google.com's general search and google.co.uk's country-specific search - this is because Google gives priority to the country specific domain extension over the ip address of where the site is hosted and uses this when listing the site

- If a website is hosted in the US and has a .com domain extension, the site will only show in google.com's general search and NOT google.co.uk's country-specific search - this is because Google looks at the ip address of where the site is hosted and also sees that a general .com domain extension is used.  This is obviously not helpful if the website is aimed at a UK audience!

The examples above can apply to sites from any country with it's own country-specific version of Google.

Take a look at the video below to see how to geotarget your website using Google Webmaster Tools, so that wherever your site is hosted and whatever domain extension you use you can still target any country-specific version of Google you wish. 

You can even target different pages of your website at different country-specific listings - e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/uk can be geotargeted to appear in the Google UK country-specific listings, while www.yoursite.com/fr can be geotargeted to appear in the Google France country-specific listings.

It's amazing how few people are making use of geotargeting, so bring yourself up to speed . . .






More information on Google Webmaster Tools can be found here:
http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

More information on using geotargeting can be found here:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=62399