Have you ever wanted to target a specific country with your website? There’s a name for this practice – “geotargeting” – and Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst provided details about successfully doing it on a recent livestream.
Geotargeting might benefit your website if your ideal audience belongs to a particular country. Additionally, users might view a website as more credible if it’s optimized in a way that shows the link to its country of origin.
On a recent livestream Q&A, one user asked Mueller about country-specific web domains. These are called ‘country code top level domains’ – instead of ending in ‘dot com,’ sites end with a domain that indicates their country. Canada has ‘dot CA’ and Germany has ‘dot DE,’ for example.
The user asked Mueller:
“Suppose I want to launch a site in Germany. Is it required that I get a ‘dot DE domain’ registered in Germany and website hosted in Germany for SEO?”
Mueller’s response indicated that domains and hosting locations were not important for geotargeting.
“In general, if you want to use geotargeting there, there are two ways to do that,” he said. “One is to use the country level top-level domain, which would be ‘dot DE’ for Germany in that case. The other is to use a generic top-level domain and to use a geotargeting setting in search console. So that could be, for example, a dot Com website or dot Net or dot Info or dot EU or whatever.”
Google Search Console has a setting that makes geotargeting easy. The ‘International Targeting’ report allows users to assign a language and targeting country for a website.
You can read more about geotargeting here.