How does Google determine which country a website belongs to?

Is this technique also used by Alexa.com?

I don't think that the website's location is determined by its host's IP address or by its WHOIS information.

I think the site's location is determined by by traffic statistics (the country with the most visitors to the site determines the site's location).

2 Answers 2


From Working with multi-regional websites

Google generally uses the following elements to determine the geotargeting of a website (or a part of a website):

Use of a ccTLD is generally a strong signal for users since it explicitly specifies a single country in an unmistakable way.


Webmaster Tools' manual geotargeting for gTLDs (this can be on a domain, subdomain or subdirectory level); more information on this can be found in our blog post and in the Help Center. With region tags from geotargeting being shown in search results, this method is also very clear to users. Please keep in mind that it generally does not make sense to set a geographic target if the same pages on your site target more than a single country (say, all German-speaking countries) — just write in that language and do not use the geotargeting setting (more on writing in other languages will follow soon!). Server location (through the IP address of the server) is frequently near your users. However, some websites use distributed content delivery networks (CDNs) or are hosted in a country with better webserver infrastructure, so we try not to rely on the server location alone.

Other signals can give us hints. This could be from local addresses & phone numbers on the pages, use of local language and currency, links from other local sites, and/or the use of Google's Local Business Center (where available).

Note that we do not use locational meta tags (like "geo.position" or "distribution") or HTML attributes for geotargeting. While these may be useful in other regards, we've found that they are generally not reliable enough to use for geotargeting.


little unsure as to the question, but if you are trying to determine how search engines define who your website is targeted at. I believe its based on a number of factors with URL / Server location / site language all being major indicators.

traffic patterns probably do impact listings as well although a lot of site feature across multiple listings 9i am thinking big brand .com here).

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