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Tell Google Your Website is Australian

Posted by in SEO

In an interesting change of events, Google has introduced a brand new facility in the Webmaster Central area that allows for a site owner to record the geographic location of their website and its intended audiences.

The benefit of this new feature is that Australian’s who utilise cheap web hosting overseas, along with generic .com domain extensions, can now start to be acknowledged as Australian, thus allowing them to rank in Google Australia more effectively. In the past a sites hosting location combined with relevant domain extension such as .com.au would decide the geographic location.

The Google geographic targeting does not allow you to specify multiple top level countries you wish to target, instead only allowing you one. The upside to this however is that you are able to set sub-domains within your site to different geographic locations.

For Example;

http://www.hsbc.com could be targeted to the USA.

http://aus.hsbc.com could be targeted to Australia.

Increase competition for Australian pages?

We can’t be sure as yet. One would assume that with the increased ability for larger companies to target their key demographics off the back of a highly trusted and age old domain, the Australian results will start to be penetrated by larger players using this geographic targeting to their advantage.

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2 Comments

  1. Perth Website Designer Reply

    Our .com.au site is hosted overseas, and we’ve set geographic targeting as you describe (in fact I think webmaster tools automatically recognized us as Asutralian). However, I’ve read elsewhere that where your site is actually hosted does play a part in rankings. I wonder if you have an opinion on this?

  2. Joshua Hay Reply

    Hi,

    I can see that the main page of your site is hosted in Canada, however a lot of the multimedia elements are hosted on the iinet members hosting which is actually located in Australia. You may have been picked up as being an Australian site because you have your address in the page as Perth Australia (along with the obvious of having a .com.au domain). We do recommend hosting on Australian servers generally.

    You should also look at splitting the content of your main page into seperate pages dedicated to each of the services as right now you are only a one page website and the rest of your content is flash files.

    Hope this helps!

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