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March 31, 2007


Lee Hodgson

Hi Frank,

He is mostly missing the point here:


When dealing with local google search engines, what google really cares about is where the *server* is located, not the domain name, which let's face it is easy to "fake".

And his server is in Canada, hence he scores well at google.ca i.e. he is getting a boost.

Google may take some notice of the domain extension, but in general, the golden rule is have your web server located in the market you want to score well in

Great blog by the way !!

Lee Hodgson

***FS*** Thanks sincerely for the color and compliment Lee.. coming from you that means a great deal.

Edwin Hayward

My experience has been that a site on a .co.uk name ranks better on the UK results in Google than it does on the general results. Similarly, a site on a .co.nz domain ranks better in the NZ results than in the general results. Both sites are on the same US-based server, btw.

The important thing is that the country-specific results are much less competitive, so in both cases I find myself getting decent traffic even from the subset of people who are limiting their searches to that particular locale. And my experience with other sites tells me that once a given site gets popular enough, it will make its way towards the top of the overall index as well (just not as quickly as it rose up the country-specific index)

Google uses EITHER the IP address of the server OR the cctld to determine the geographic location of the site. If both agree, so much the better. If you have a cctld domain, that's enough to signal that the domain name relates to the country of the cctld.

It gets more complicated than that, though, as Google also uses the Google site you're currently on to flavour its search results. The .co.uk site I was talking about above ranks #9 on Google.co.uk for the keyword inside its domain name, but #27 on Google.com. It's at #6 on Google.co.uk if I choose the "pages from the UK" view.

The difference is, Google.com is showing results from all over the world. Google.co.uk shows (mainly but not quite exclusively) UK-based results for the same query. The "pages from the UK" selector cleans up the results further, but they were already vigorously slanted in favour of the UK just by virtue of my search starting on the .co.uk edition of Google. (Oh, and I'm in Japan, so it's got nothing to do with MY IP address as a Google visitor)

In other words, if you're targeting people in a specific geographic location, you'd better make sure your domain name and/or hosting are targeted to that location, since the folks who are most likely to see your site are experiencing a "positive filter" that boosts local sites.

***FS*** Thanks so much for the detailed color on this Edwin.. you obviously know what you're doing

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