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I have an eCommerce website, which wants to target the USA, UK and Europe. The targeting will be done through Subdomains as follows:

www.example.com (USA with Dollars and American English)
en-eb.example.com (UK with GBP and British English)
en-eu.example.com (Rest of Europe with Euros and British English)

The idea, in regards to the European site, being that the Analytics will be monitored where a dedicated Subdomain will eventually be created for any Countries that produce a lot of traffic to the en-eu Subdomain.

Google Webmasters Tools/Search Console

With the above in mind, what would be the most appropriate Location to place within the International Targeting area of Google Webmasters Tools/Search Console?

My thinking is that I should simply select 'Unlisted' and let the site content provide the rest of the signals to inform Google that the site is intended for a European audience. Signals such as the use of Euros and Shipping details etc.

Would this be the right approach or is there a better approach, bearing in mind there being no 'Europe' entry within Google Webmasters Tools/Search Console?

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TLDR: Since International targeting lets you select specific countries but does not have Europe as an option, having the site targeting set to "Unlisted" is the only choice you have. This is generally the best practice we have and wait for Google to recognize your site and rank you in the preferred region.

Answer with brief explanation for Geo-Targeting:

The idea, in regards to the European site, being that the Analytics will be monitored where a dedicated Subdomain will eventually be created for any Countries that produce a lot of traffic to the en-eu Subdomain.

With the above in mind, what would be the most appropriate Location to place within the International Targeting area of Google Webmasters Tools/Search Console?

If your site is particularly targeted towards EU users and will serve value for them, setting the "International Targeting" to "Europe" will definitely help you gain better rankings for that location as you're helping out Google with user-location information.

  • Google strives to show results based on relevancy and the most value it can serve for an user

My thinking is that I should simply select 'Unlisted' and let the site content provide the rest of the signals to inform Google that the site is intended for a European audience. Signals such as the use of Euros and Shipping details etc.

This is not an good idea as you're trying to make Google spend more time in terms of serving the content/ awarding you rankings for users to visit your website.

  • On Contrary, lets say you put to "Unlisted" and Google ranks you in India. The keyword is appropriate but your site does not have payment options in INR. This will result in a bounce rate, which will affect the ranking in general. (I gave a vague example assuming Indians do not have international payment options)
  • Or lets say the payment works. However, you do not ship for India. This will also increase user discomfort which I would not really recommend.

Would this be the right approach or is there a better approach, bearing in mind there being no 'Europe' entry within Google Webmasters Tools/Search Console?

In your case, since there is no "Europe" entry, setting target to "unlisted" and let google recognize you on the long run is the only option.

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    I don't think there is a "Europe" targeting that Google makes available. It is only individual countries that are available. See their help document: support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6059209?hl=en – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 5 at 14:16
  • @idk: Thanks for the answer. Not sure if you read towards the bottom of my question but Google Webmasters/Search Console does not have 'Europe' as an option. Logic dictates to select 'Unlisted' and leave the other signals to help inform search engines, Google in this case, of its intended Geographical reach. Unless anyone has experiences a better approach. – Craig Mar 5 at 18:11
  • I missed the last line. Sorry. I will re-edit the answer to reflect appropriate. – idk Mar 6 at 5:10

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