Let Google know what country you are from

In Hot off the Press, Search Engine News by David Sanchez

Google Webmaster Tools has officially launched a new tool that helps us better control the country- association of our content. The information you will be giving Google will help determine how youyour site appears in country-specific search results, which in turn will also improve the search results for specific geographic queries.

Amanda Camp, engineer with Webmaster Tools, claims that although Google does its best to determine the location of sites and rank them appropriately, it sometimes leads to problems. There have been plenty of concerns from webmasters, and Google has been working hard to come up with a solution to make life easier for them, while safeguarding searchers as well.

This country- association is used in overall ranking as well as country- specific searches, and it will complement how location is being determined at present. The top level domain of a site is flagged by Google ie. www.monkeybiz.fr, this tells them that the site is from France.


The problem arises when the site is not location specific (.com instead of .fr), because search engines were using site`s IP address to identify its location. This works well for the sites that are hosted in the same country as they operate, but it’s problematic for those that are hosted in a different country. Further complications crop up when companies have subdomains for their country- specific sites.

That`s what makes this tool so useful,; all you have to do is log on to Google Webmaster Tools, access the tool tab, set the Geographic Target and provide the information about your site. Google will use this info as a pointer in its rankings.

This will only work for sites that do not have a location- specific top level domain (.fr). If your site is .com, .org or .net, you are able to specify different countries for each site within one domain. You can add all your subdomains for your country specific- sites in your Webmaster Tools account and specify the location for each one accordingly.

Furthermore, in addition to adding your business to Google local search (which is always highly recommended for local search), you can also add detailed info here. If you run a Sushi restaurant in London, for example, you will be able to add information such as postcode and street address, as well as any extra information that applies to your business.

Although it`s not necessary to specify the location of your site if it is hosted in the same country, it is recommended that you do it anyway,. Your hosting server may move,s or your IP address may have been listed incorrectly in Google`s database, and you’ll lose precious traffic.

This is a long awaited move from Google as it will certainly benefit searchers as well as webmasters .I`m sure plenty of webmasters will be thinking to themselves “hallelujah, my voice has been heard”.

About the Author

David Sanchez