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How do engines know which country a site is from?


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223 replies to this topic

#31 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 03:58 AM

HI Richard, Pages geo locating in Google is a little weird. If you appear in Google.co.uk, then you WILL appear in google.com, but if you are treated as a non uk site, you are unlikely to appear in google.co.uk. So it is not an either or. MSN & Yahoo treat uk/non uk's differently though.

Some of the other up and coming Broadband portals also take a different view on all this, so if you are building a long term business, I would suggest taking up a long term strategy, keep in mind that Google has only been in existence for 5 years, and despite what many think, IMO it will NOT be the main player forever. MSN is going to take a lot of the share when it:-
1) launches its new search engine and database
2) Incorporates search into longhorn.

Virgin, Wanadoo & Tiscali are three to consider, although they are not search engines but portals, many people use their portal search facilities to search. (Depending on what reporting software you are using, they probably will not show as referrers, you wight have to look at referrers by url). Tiscali are the UK's biggest Broadband ISp currently and the main bulk of their results are drawn from overture and ask Jeeves.

I think that as the web gets ever bigger search will get ever smaller, and what works today, will not work tomorrow. There has to be a global search on all search engines, but IMo personalised search is the way ahead. Take a look at, and play with the google personalised search here http://labs.google.com/personalized you will see that you can set your preference by area. I would imagine that there will be a 'sites located in' option when this goes live. I would expect people to be allowed to search by some sort of dual filter. eg. search (.com) with sites located in the (US). These are my own thoughts however, but to me that would be the logical way.

I would have a search box, a check box of:- buy, research, general. This would tell the search engine if you are looking to buy stuff, research stuff, or generally surf. I know that many ecommerce sites also supply information, but these would also be identified in the 'buy' section. The bad affiliates would be dropped, and the quality affiliates who take the time to write reviews of the products and information pages, would rise to the top.

I would like to see those three boxes, together with a choice of domain extensions, & geo location. Personally I would then set them to show 'any' domain extension, but 'only' sites located in the UK. Without doubt, personalised search is going to dramatically change the face of search. and getting traffic will develop a whole new meaning to the word 'relevance'.

#32 mcanerin

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 01:08 PM

To the best of my knowledge, being assigned a country to a page is a benifit, not a drawback. In essence, it's a free rankings boost under some circumstances.

Being considered non-US will not harm you in anyway in your normal Google rankings, but WILL often give you a boost in localized searches (MSN country specific searches will give you a boost automatically - don't even have to do anything)

In short, it's always a good thing vis-a-vis the .com vs .tld. The only time I think there may be a concern is between a .ca vs a .co.uk - so different non-USA country tlds.

I haven't tested the .us domain fully, but it appears to give you no boost to the .com versions of the search engines, which leads me to believe that the main SEs don't consider the .com versions to be "US" - they consider them to be international.

Ian

#33 BrianR

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 03:43 PM

Nice ideas, OWG - I hope you're right. But, just in case, I took the liberty of emailing your thoughts to Matt Cutts...

BrianR

#34 The Ginger Surfer

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:47 PM

Ian

Thanks for your very useful and sensible reply. What you say to me:

QUOTE
perhaps have the german language website as a subdirectory (www.mydomain.com/deutsch/) and then resolve www.mydomain.de to it, rather than the home page.


... is the same as the 'Calgary Herald' example you give to RichardK:

QUOTE
you can park it on internal pages as well. An example of this is if you type in www.calgaryherald.com it will resolve to a subdirectory of http://www.canada.co...rald/index.html


But what is the precise terminology for this? You refer to'resolving' the domain (www.mydomain.de or www.calgaryherald.com) to the subdomain and I would usually call this 'pointing' but what exactly should I ask of my domain name and site hosts?

Many thanks

PS I may soon have some results for you on "how a site with multiple locals would show up".

#35 mcanerin

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:51 PM

There are lots of terminologies that are used for the whole forwarding/pointing/parking area - the best way to remember it all is that if the redirection happens at the server or DNS level, there is usually no problem with visitors or search engines.

If it happens due to a meta-refresh or some other on-page scripting, then that's bad.

Ian

#36 tempy

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 10:01 PM

So. Just to confirm, if I may. If I want to have a 'localised' listing for my .com and I *also* want to have localised information for my local site. I should;

1. buy a local tld, (.com.au in the case I am currently working on.)

2. Park that on a subdomain of my .com (which has a good ranking). e.g. oz.mysite.com

3. Get some Australian (or whatever) specific links going to the .com.au.

The key thing for me is that the content is pretty much duplicated on both sites, but I want a slightly different home page and contact email for the Australian site. But I don't want to be seen as a spammer either. Currently the two sites are on different servers, with different hosts (neither in Australia).


Thanks for any help. smile.gif

#37 mcanerin

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 10:25 PM

If possible, in your case I would just park the local tld (.com.au) on your main site and offer a clear link to the Australian content in the same site - then your whole site will be considered Australian.

If you have the two sites duplicated, you run the risk of a duplication filter. This may very well remove your .com.au from the listings, and waste your time (usually the higher ranking of 2 duplicate pages is shown and the other removed).

Naturally the search engines are familiar with multiple, nearly identical sites and often act agressively against them. At one point last year almost *half* of my clients had come to me because they had been penalized (and in 2 cases greybarred) because they had more than one site under different names that were essentially duplicates (minor changes in looks and name don't count as "unique") and needed me to "unban" them. They had got away with it for a while, then bang - gone.

It took a long time to help them recover - although this kept me busy I don't advise it form a website owners standpoint. smile.gif

You are better off either having 2 distinct (non-duplicated) sites or creating a unique Australian section within your main site and parking the .com.au on it, IMO.

Basically, if you are trying to get 2 copies of essentially the same site showing up in the same SERP, you are spamming - I don't recommend it smile.gif

Cheers,

Ian

#38 tempy

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 01:48 AM

Thanks.

It's certainly not intentional spamming, I provide the same services in both sectors. But I get the point.

Looks like parking the .com.au is the best option then, as currently it doesn't appear at all.

Thanks again.

#39 snappy111

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 03:20 PM

Hi mcanerin,

This topic is a bit beyond my reach, but wanted to say hello to a fellow Calgarian.

I'll continue follwing the threads.

Cheers,


Snappy111

#40 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 04:42 PM

Snappy Welcome hi.gif thanks for pulling this back up, it is always good to read posts made a little while back.

Hopefully this Google patent will clear all of these problems away

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?...AN/google$

This is a link to the Google geo coding patent which turns postal codes into longtitude and latitude references.

#41 mcanerin

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:47 PM

Hi Snappy111 ! bye1.gif

OWG, that's an interesting patent - I'll have to check it in more detail later. Good find.

Ian

#42 Tyssen

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 04:46 AM

Have I understood this thread properly by coming to the conclusion that there's no real penalty for having a .com.au domain that's hosted on US servers?

#43 DaveBeck

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 05:38 AM

You have to be careful using that word "penalty" Tyssen. There is no way in the world you could be penalized by where your domain is hosted. I have numerous Australian domains hosted in the U.S., and they all perform very well on the local versions of each of the major search engines.

If you were using a top-level domain you would have to have it hosted in Australia for it to show up in the Australian only searches.

The good news is however the cost of hosting in Australia has come down dramatically over the last year and you should be able to find some pretty good deals now.

#44 Tyssen

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 08:42 AM

QUOTE(skarraman @ Sep 9 2005, 06:38 AM)
If you were using a top-level domain you would have to have it hosted in Australia for it to show up in the Australian only searches.
The good news is however the cost of hosting in Australia has come down dramatically over the last year and you should be able to find some pretty good deals now.

By 'top-level domain' do you mean .com?
I did do quite a bit of searching for hosting just recently and couldn't find any Australian ones that came anywhere near US hosts for price/storage/bandwidth.

#45 mcanerin

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 10:25 AM

Here are the rules in a nutshell. For this list, I'm ignoring a bunch of "also might work" things and just simplifying it down to the basics.

1. If you have a non-country code domain (com,net,org) then you need to provide hints as to what country it's relevant to. You do this by:
  • Hosting on an IP known to be assigned to the country you are targetting. You can use this tool to check: http://www.ip2location.com/free.asp

    -AND-

  • Getting lots of links from websites known to be in that country. One good way of doing this is to search for link partners using the "show only websites from this country" command in most search engines advanced search functions.
2. If you have a country code domain (aka ccTLD) like .ca, .co.uk, etc then you are already set as a country specific site, regardless of where you are hosted or linked from.

Ian




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