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I'm a web developer from Myanmar (Burma). Google delivers a ccTLD google.com.mm to the people searching from our country.

I have a website which is a single language site (English) and it targets the global audience. I have also Facebook page and Twitter page related to my website. When I search my website using some related keywords in google.com (without .mm), my site including Facebook and Twitter pages are listed in the first SERP. However, when I search it with the same keywords in google.com.mm, I could not entirely find the site.

So far I have learned about Google SEO, there is an option Country Targeting which can be enabled/flagged from Google Webmasters Tool. And I know that it is only for geographic data and it is not suitable for my case.

This setting is only for geographic data. If you're targeting users in different locations—for example, if you have a site in French that you want users in France, Canada, and Mali to read—don't use this tool to set France as a geographic target. A good example of where it would be useful is for a restaurant website: if the restaurant is in Canada, it's probably not of interest to folks in France. But if your content is in French and is of interest to people in multiple countries/regions, it's probably better not to restrict it.

What are the best possible ways to solve this issue to list my site in google.com.mm as well?

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This is quite interesting as people often have the opposite problem, their site ranks well in their local Google, but not so well in Google.com.

As well as from the Geo target settings in Webmaster Tools, Google also looks at other factors to try and figure out where a website is based and might rank in. Such as server location, country specific content on the site such as address and phone number and the location of links pointing to your site.

So you could look at adding or changing some of that data to rank better in .com.mm. However, these factors could also adversely effect your global rankings, so maybe not something you might want to do.

So what can we do to preserve the ranking globally but also rank in .com.mm? There are a couple of options I might take:

  1. Add an area of the site within a subfolder, or subdomain on the current domain. You can add Burma specific pages, or even the entire site again in a subfolder/sub-domain, then Geo target only that section in Webmaster Tools. You could also use rel="alternate" hreflang="x" through out the site to inform Google that one area of you site is for generic English-language and the other area is for English language in Burma.

  2. Build a separate version of your site on a .com.mm TLD for users in Burma. Again you would probably want to link the two sites together using the rel="alternate" hreflang="x" tags.

You could also change the language on the new areas of the site/new domain to Burmese, as I'm sure that would help to rank in .com.mm, although I guess that depends on weather you want to be found in Google for English searches. You could even have 3 areas of the site. One in English for generic English speakers, another in English for English speaking users in Burma, then a third in Burmese for Burmese speaking users.

  • Thank you for your answer. I would follow your option 1. Do you think that generic English section and English in Burma section could lead to duplicate content issue which is not good for SEO? – Sithu Nov 1 '14 at 13:28
  • And I also found that my site is not listed in .com.sg as well. – Sithu Nov 1 '14 at 13:29
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    Sithu, if you use hreflang properly, this will actually avoid duplicate content issue. Search engines will understand... – Jérôme Verstrynge Dec 4 '14 at 21:38
  • Interestingly though is the point that Google has never mentioned that using rel="alternate" hreflang= avoids duplicate content, yet many people state it will - and I think it does too. Although they do state in the 'hreflang' guidelines 'Your content has small regional variations with similar content in a single language', which kind of states it in a roundabout way. – Max Dec 4 '14 at 23:30
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Just try to get some links from reputable websites in Burma.

Edit: There are a numerous factors Google is using to rank websites, as @Max said. I think that in this case, it needs to be decided if local or global market are more important. If the Burmese market is more important, then focus should be on gaining links from reputable Burmese websites in the same niche. That will connect website with other good websites (good neighborhood) and will increase the chances for website to be ranked better in Burma.

Of course, making website in Burmese (if possible) and using hreflang would be the best thing to do. Using hreflang without adding the second language won't help. Also, just copying the website to ccTLD will make problems with duplicate content and I would not suggest that under any circumstances.

  • Welcome on Pro Webmasters! Could you just add some more information please? – Zistoloen Nov 3 '14 at 10:04

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