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How do engines know which country a site is from?


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223 replies to this topic

#91 mcanerin

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 05:28 PM

Tell your tech to read this: http://www.mcanerin....ect-parking.asp

It's pretty much a step-by-step "dummies guide" for techs wanting to park something on Apache. smile.gif

Ian

#92 sunkissed

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 07:44 AM

I've followed the advice on this posting and parked a .co.uk domain on my com site by pointig to the same site folder on the server based in the US. The Uk is my most important counry to try and attract visitors so should I now change all my internal links (and there are hundreds) from their full/absolute .com links to .co.uk

I only set up and pointed the .co.uk domain version to the site folder yesterday

Edited by sunkissed, 10 February 2006 - 08:09 AM.


#93 SpeedyPin

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 03:00 PM

Hi all. I'll jump right on the bandwagon saying that this is a great thread. However, even after reading just about every response on each page, I cannot find the answer I am looking for.

We have a very successful and very well ranked .com domain name and show up very well across ALL search engines here in the US.

We are about to change web hosts; from one in Colorado to one in Canada. We are keeping our current .com domain. We do not want and will not have a .ca name. Our audience is U.S. based.

Q: Are there any potential SEO ramifications for using a Canadian web host, being a U.S. company?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

#94 Jill

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:28 PM

Eric, I'm not expert on this, but other than those things already discussed in this thread, I don't imagine there could be any issues that you need to worry about. Switching hosts, in general, is fairly seamless these days.

#95 SpeedyPin

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 07:31 PM

Jill:

I really appreciate the feedback and agree. I think more than anything, I am seeking pacification--wanting to know that everything will be ok. And since I wasn't sure about the importance/non-importance of moving from a domestic IP to an international IP, I thought I had better check.

As always, you gals/guys are awesome.

I'll post here after the move so that others can learn first-hand from our experience with the move. And I promise to do my best to contribute more to the forum in 2006. biggrin.gif

#96 send2paul

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 06:30 PM

Hello again smile.gif

Back in October 2005, as part of this thread, I said this:
QUOTE
...the conclusion that the reason why I was getting more hits from Canada than anywhere else was because Canadians had a tendency to search by "keyword(s)+city+province/state" i.e. they were searching in Google for results specific to their area. Why? Because they want to distinguish they're, (hopefully Canadian only!), results from the flood of American .com websites south of the border. Whether or not they searched in Google.ca or Google.com - they wanted Canadian results only.

So, after checking some of my competitor's Canadian websites I found they they weren't optimising their websites for the Canadian "keyword(s)+city+province/state" as much as I was. Hence, I was getting better rankings in Google.com and Google.ca for Canadian info on a website with a UK IP.

Use the same Canadian search term in Google.ca and the Google.ca Beta Local Search , and you'll get much more specific local results - which is how pages in Canada sould be optimised for.
- and, I think it was completely ignored smile.gif

Well, I'm not an attention seeker or anything(!) - but I thought, and still do think, that it's very relevant to this discussion. And, since October, I have continued to expand my Canadian targetted website - which is hosted in the UK with an English IP - and the Google Adsense results are quite nice smile.gif

I believe that understanding how "the locals search", and optimising webpages to reflect their search trends & patterns will also place your website in a higher position in the country version of Google's search engine than websites from that country who haven't optimised their webpages to reflect the way "the locals search".

"How do engines know which country a site is from?" - in this case it probably doesn't matter, although, like many things to do with SE's - this is only one aspect of the whole ball game....

#97 Martin C

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 08:40 AM

I think the problem with this thread is that it was started in May 2004 and things have moved on. Localised search has got smarter, I'm not convinced that all the advice that is given early on in the thread is still relevant.

All the major search engines are developing geo-applications and therefore they need to address the real world where websites that provide a local service can have their website server physically located in another country.

Like everything I am sure it ends up being a combination of many things including IP address, domain name as well as the domains that link to the website and a zillion other factors.

#98 MichaelEng

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 09:03 AM

Martin, You are probably right but many of the points are still valid.

My website is hosted in the USA and I have good search engine positions on google.com searches, but my results on the google.co.uk with the 'pages from the UK' option switched on nails my results.

I have heaps of UK links, and a co.uk domain, but my IP address is seen as being based in the USA, even though the domain is hosted in the UK and forwarded to the USA hosting by changing the A record of the domain.

Can anyone tell me how to park a domain in the UK, so it will be seen as a UK domain, but have it forwarded to my USA hosting?

#99 Jill

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:31 PM

QUOTE
I think the problem with this thread is that it was started in May 2004 and things have moved on. Localised search has got smarter, I'm not convinced that all the advice that is given early on in the thread is still relevant.


Martin, if you see some things in the thread that are specifically incorrect at this time, please let us know.

It would be great to update this thread to be as accurate as possible. I'm sure Ian would appreciate any help with it once he's back from China.

#100 Martin C

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:58 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Mar 10 2006, 03:31 PM)
Martin, if you see some things in the thread that are specifically incorrect at this time, please let us know.
View Post


Fair comment but let me just try and expand/clarify the point I was trying to make.

When this thread was started the SE were in their infancy when it came to providing effective localised search.

To return relevant results the SE have to be able to work out when a search phrase needs to return global, national or local centric results. For example if I was looking for information on a historic figure I am not going to be that concerned where in the world that information comes from, but if I am looking for house insurance I will want one that covers the country I am in, and if I wanted a decorator I will want one that it is local to my area.

I appreciate that if you want to help the SE correctly identify your location you can do certain things to help or you could just contact Google Why isn't my site returning when I search for results from a particular country? - has anyone taken this route?

However the SE are all developing techniques that help them work out for themselves how to properly locate a website and this will include the things they started out with such as a website's IP address and domain name, but probably also now takes into account the domains that link to the website, yellow pages and other directories, hints extracted from web content, whois information and some others I haven't thought of. These factors are all likely to be built into the search algorithms.

The SE understand more than we do that life is complicated and IP and domain names can not be relied on to accurately locate a website's business. The challenge they have is not only do they have to be able to work out with some certainty where a website is based but they will have to work out what search request require a global, national or local response.

I don't have any specific criticism of this thread but my concern is because of its age it doesn't really discuss what advances have been made to the SE ability to look beyond the basic geo data.

Whichever SE manages to crack the localised search problems they could end up wiping the floor with the competition because it would bring a whole new level of relevancy and allow them to really capitalise on all the geo referencing that they have all been playing with.

#101 send2paul

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 08:04 AM

Perhaps it's just me... but if a website contains the correct content**, and is optimised** appropriately, the SE wil return a result for that website with keywords used in it's search box?

Does it matter which country the website originates in?

I could make a spammy website about tourism in the UK, (being in the UK), and if another website in the USA also had a website about tourism in the UK - but had actually made an effort with content and optimisation - then the USA website would be the one to show up in Google.co.uk and Google.com for keyword related searches to do with tourism in the UK. Yes?

** If Google says - "Optimise your websites in a certain way - and they will feature correctly in search results" - then if people do that - their websites will appear - as per Google's instructions. If websites do anything else, or concern themselves with many other things..
QUOTE
...a website's IP address and domain name, but probably also now takes into account the domains that link to the website, yellow pages and other directories, hints extracted from web content, whois information and some others I haven't thought of....
, then, of course, website owners are going to get confused as to how/why their websites are not appearing as they should be in Google's, or anybody's else's SE.

In my experience, the only concrete proof & evidence I know of regarding ability to get a website in the search results for it's correct keywords, is that optimisation works. Canada, USA, UK - it doesn't matter. Maybe I've just been lucky with websites.

#102 Martin C

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 08:21 AM

QUOTE(send2paul @ Mar 12 2006, 09:04 AM)
Does it matter which country the website originates in?

View Post


It matters in some cases that the supplies and services being offered are local ones.

The SE want to deliver the most relevant results, and a website might offer the best plumbing service in the world but if they don't operate in a searchers local area then that particular website isn't worth listing.

QUOTE
, then, of course, website owners are going to get confused as to how/why their websites are not appearing as they should be in Google's, or anybody's else's SE.


It isn't the SE job to make life easier for the website owners, their aim must be to provide searchers with the most relevant results. I think though the smarter that the SE become in this area the easier it will be for websites to feature in the results where they should feature, regardless of where their website is physically located.

#103 Jill

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 10:17 AM

QUOTE
I don't have any specific criticism of this thread but my concern is because of its age it doesn't really discuss what advances have been made to the SE ability to look beyond the basic geo data.


Fair enough, let's discuss those!

So who knows what those are, and which are actually in place now at which search engines? It would be great to add them to this thread.

#104 send2paul

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 04:25 PM

Martin,
QUOTE
a website might offer the best plumbing service in the world but if they don't operate in a searchers local area then that particular website isn't worth listing.
- obviously.

But... If I were building a website for a London plumber, I wouldn't be optimising it for New York, - because the plumber would be in London. But , if I was building a plumber's website in the UK - for a New York plumber, who lived and worked in New York - then as long as my optimisation was better than another New York plumber's website that had been built in New York - then my website would get the better search results for New York plumbers. Yes? Then the origin of the plumbing website wouldn't make a difference.

QUOTE
It isn't the SE job to make life easier for the website owners, their aim must be to provide searchers with the most relevant results.
- absolutely agree. So, if the rules of optimisation which the SEs use to guide webmasters to produce appropriate search results in their SE when anyone types in search terms in the SE - will also provide searchers with the most relevant results - then everyone is happy. Yes?

The SEs rules for webmasters are not a separate entity from the way in which the SE decides on what is the correct SERP placement for websites when someone uses the SE.

#105 send2paul

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:46 PM

....or maybe I'll just go and talk to myself somewhere else, eh? blackhat.gif




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