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Because I'm still living like it's 2008, I run a website with a .in TLD. The website has nothing to do we India and does not target Indian users.

Unfortunately, when I go to Google Webmaster Tools I see that Google have locked my geotargeting status to India:

Screenshow showing that I cannot change the geotargeting settings.

On the help pages, Google state that:

Sites with country-coded top-level domains (such as .ie) are already associated with a geographic region, in this case Ireland. In this case, you won't be able to specify a geographic location.

This seems implausibly inflexible, so I want to know if there are any sneaky ways of removing auto-geotargeting, or changing it to a more appropriate region?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you use a ccTLD like .in, you won't be able to set geotargeting to a different country in Webmaster Tools. For example, you generally wouldn't be able to geotarget users in France when using a .in domain name (we use a few other signals for geotargeting, but the ccTLD is a fairly strong signal, since it's something that users see as well).

That said, it's no problem to create a global site on a ccTLD like that - they will show up in global search results normally. It's common for international companies (and websites) to be based in a specific country.

So in short, if you want to geotarget users in a country other than India, then I'd recommend using a gTLD or the appropriate ccTLD instead. If your website is meant for users worldwide, then it's no problem to continue using that domain name.

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Thanks John. It's a shame there's no option to override it. Using ccTLDs for stupid wordplay like this is a bit cheesy, but it's still fairly commonplace. –  Tom Wright Jul 29 '12 at 11:55

I'd ask John Mueller he works for Google and in the Webmaster Tools area, he's an active member on this site and his profile is http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/users/711/john-mueller

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