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Since, if you don't geotarget your TLD website, Google will make assumptions about its location based on IP address, browser info etc. would that not suggest that it is in fact ALWAYS worth geotargeting, lest you leave it up to Google to decide which country-specific search your site shows up in? If Google makes these assumptions with no geotarget set, then I'm guessing it will simply decide which country-specific search to include you in, and therefore which others to exclude you from...

Or is it the case that you might show up in a few different country-specific searches by not geotargeting? Even if that's the case, I'm guessing you would still rank higher in one particular country's search by geotargeting for it, and so it would still be worth doing?

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I am not an expert on GEO Targeting, but I did do some research for another question and was not surprised by the answer. If a domain name is registered by a ccTLD (country code), there are two things that happen from Google's point of view. One, it knows what data centers should be populated primarily, and two, where searches are likely to come from. All of this can shift depending upon search performance.

For example, a Ukrainian site will be heavily populated in the data centers closest to Ukraine. But if the Ukrainian site is in English, it will also heavily populate in data centers in Europe that Ukrainian sites have performed well in. As well, the Ukrainian site will be populated in other data centers to a point. Lets say this site is popular in the U.S. Those data centers will also become heavily populated with the Ukrainian site. Think of load balancing more than anything. Google has it's own algorithms for this and that is what happens.

As well, sometimes the ccTLD is a clue to language, but no real assumption is made. Case in point, all the .cn sites written in English these days. It is surprising. For example, let's make it an obvious one, booger-snots.com.uk (just being silly here) is obviously in the UK, but likely shows up in most all Google data centers that serve English language searches. Why? because it is written in English. And that is your answer. GEO Targeting, if not sought by the site, does not apply except based upon search performance. Otherwise, the primary consideration is the language of the searcher.

Now, if you want to GEO Target your site, then I suggest you do. But if you want to be open to search throughout the world, the only consideration are the languages your site is available to.

  • Thanks. I'm not sure about your last line though... Search performance can, from what you're saying, affect the country-specific searches your site shows up in. Is it not worth always just specifying though? Are you somehow limiting your visibility in other country-specific searches by doing so? – zakgottlieb May 7 '14 at 14:03
  • Also, by country-specific I mean not e.g. google.co.uk, but google.co.uk, THEN Search Tools: Only show results in the UK... If that makes sense – zakgottlieb May 7 '14 at 14:42
  • I was mostly explaining that search is language specific and not country specific, though there is a sorta load balancing going on based upon search history through out the globe. Some assumptions are made based upon the ccTLD and language, but mostly for load balancing based upon search history for any given region. If you geo target your site, that may limit search to those areas that have historically shown interest in the region that you specify. If I am a baker in San Diego, Ca. it would make sense to geo target my locale since I am not expecting to sell to someone in New York. – closetnoc May 7 '14 at 15:10
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If you did not geotarget your TLD website then Google uses website language, domain extension, Contact us information, Physical address mention at website to know associated country with website. By default all websites are listed in Google's global search data and country specific search engine data(if Google found relevant data for it.)

If you geotarget your TLD website then it save Google's time and assumption about country related with your website(sometime may be wrong if Google did not find detailed info about website).

Geotargeting worth as fast ranking in targeted country's search engine due to information shared by webmaster about target audience and country.

  • Thank you for this. But my main question is, will appearing in a country-specific search engine either by geotargeting or Google's assumptions, somehow LIMIT or otherwise affect the appearance in other country-specific search engines? – zakgottlieb May 7 '14 at 14:13
  • Also, by country-specific I mean not e.g. google.co.uk, but google.co.uk, THEN Search Tools: Only show results in the UK... If that makes sense – zakgottlieb May 7 '14 at 14:42

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