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How does G know which country a website is made for ?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Zak_A, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Zak_A

    Zak_A Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I've been wondering about this for quite a long time now.
    You've probably never wondered this if you only aim at ranking in google.com for an english keyword.
    This question applies especially for non-US local businesses.

    What if you want to rank on a specific country domain extension of Google ? (when your website's domain is a regular non-country specific .com or .net)

    You may say google choose accordingly depending on the language of your site.
    But many languages are spoken through several countries !

    Let say you have a website for a local small business in the UK. Your website is in english but you probably want to rank in google.co.uk rather that google.com.

    If your local small business website is in german, how will G knows whether to rank it in google.de or google.at or google.ch in german ?

    And for a website in french, how will it rank in google.fr, google.be in french, google.ch in french, google.lu in french, google.ca in french ?

    What I know for sure is it does, but I can't figure out how. Google does know which country to rank your website for, I've seen several local companies ranking very well for their keyword in the google for their country, and not ranked as well in other countries where the same language is spoken.

    So how does google determines this ?

    I thought of a few possible answer already, but none of them seemed satisfying.

    - What I'm sure is it is not based on the hosting. I've seen companies' websites ranking only in their country while they were hosted in an other country.
    - It is obviously not based in domain extension. Lots of companies are using the regular .com or .net and rank well in their country only.
    - You can simply set a "preferred country" in GWT. Right, this helps for sure, but I'm pretty sure most of the websites I studied don't even know about GWT.
    - I also thought of the meta http-equiv="Content-Language" (in these you can put codes such as EN-US, EN-UK, DE-AT, FR-BE etc.) But these are rarely used properly on the websites I looked at.
    - Maybe Google looks at country names in the content (almost all companies have their postal address somewhere on their website), but that doesn't sound enough.

    Any thought or idea is welcome to be discussed !
     
  2. dewaz

    dewaz Regular Member

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    are you sure that g know our country?
     
  3. flx89

    flx89 Senior Member

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    they can only know from where your site is hosted
     
  4. Kaistar

    Kaistar Power Member

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    List your site in Google Webmaster Tools and GEO Target your domain to point to your desired country under Settings.

    As mentioned, you can tell Google to target results in the UK for a .Com etc etc.
    This is probably the best option.
     
  5. Zak_A

    Zak_A Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for the reply so far, actually I'm not really asking how to rank a website in a specific country, but rather how some websites are ranked for the right country without doing much for this to happen.

    Definitely, as I said, lots of local companies have their website ranked only for their country.

    I can say this is definitely wrong. I can provide some example proof via mp if you're interested in seeing this. (I won't post anyone's website publicly as per bhw rules)

    This is right and works for sure. But what I'm wondering is how google ranks some websites properly when they don't use GWT.
     
  6. Vyndariel

    Vyndariel Registered Member

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    I would say by the language / quality of text of the content.

    Google translator improved a lot in the past years with multiple country selections for the same language so the community actually worked on improving the translator like English US / English UK, as some words / phrases are different.

    Based on the content the crawler is getting I could assume that based on those dictionaries possible countries get select and the one, where your words/phrases fits best will be selected.

    I don't think they use the imprint or location at all (but they actually do). My servers are in Germany, I'm in the Netherlands and rank some content better in france than in belgium (even if it's closer).

    But I assume that the location of the server can be used as an indicator. G is updating their algorythms more and more and with the latest ones they want to display more "local results". So I think that locale or close to locale ipranges could be higher ranked.

    Only my 5 cent ^^
     
  7. dewaz

    dewaz Regular Member

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    Every Google Geo Server has it's different rank base on visitor. Even if you put your site at china but most of your visitor coming from us then you'll rank better for google.com; especially if on on page seo, backlinks quality and bounce rate are all perfect.
     
  8. GutierresSEO

    GutierresSEO Registered Member

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    I have a different approach on this. It may not be one of the points you mentioned, but all of them in conjunction. It would be pretty stupid for G only to rely on one type of data to rank a site, don't you think?
    But I think that I have to say that if I had to choose just one factor, I have to go with dewaz answer. Surely G will value traffic more than those other factors, as go0gle wants to give people what they are looking for. And if you have huge traffic from one country it's only logic that you'll rank higher. Minding that you do all the other things right and that the traffic you're getting is real traffic.
     
  9. thejake

    thejake Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    It defaults to geoip of the host, in cases where that's ambiguous it guesses based on best guess at language. I have some sites I host "offshore" and they end up in google.ro :(
     
  10. mbhmirc

    mbhmirc Regular Member

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    I think this is pritty simple

    Hosting, TLD, bulk of visitor IP's (yes they know them all from the click on serps) and....

    USA: Jell-o -UK: Jelly
    USA: Jam - UK: Jelly

    Get it? :p
     
  11. mbhmirc

    mbhmirc Regular Member

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    i.e. Google knows who it's relevent for from the people that search for that information in that country and return that result for that country's SE. In otherwords it's sniping on a scale we could only dream off :p
     
  12. VinBed

    VinBed Regular Member

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    They take into account the factors said before - language, country the site is hosted in, TLD, etc. They also likely look at which countries a lot of your traffic comes from (off search). If you have a lower bounce rate from a certain country, that might indicate relevance - but I cannot say for sure.