Optimising Sites Internationally
Google Webmaster Tools Now Helps!
Vannessa Fox has just posted something that we have been waiting for for a long time, and it’s not chocolate, which is a shame. Google Webaster Tools has just made it possible for you to let them know which country you want your site to be associated with.
Typically Search Engines used TLD’s (Top levels Domains) to help determine the country. So for example site.de would be German. However, if you used a .com, such as site.com, then the Search Engines would look at where your site was hosted (IP Address) and use that information. OK as long as your site was hosted in your country but often this is not the case so problems arose.
So now you can go into the control panel and select the country you want your site to be asociated with. Currently you can only select one country per TLD but who knows what will happen in the future?
But wait, there’s more …
And this is the really cool bit. What you can do is specify subdomains or subfolders as targeting specific countries. This is really, really useful for sites that have multi language content on one site. For example (and I nicked this off Vanessa):
www.example.com/ (U.S. site)
france.example.com/ (French site)
russia.example.com/ (Russian site)
All you do here is add each of these to your Webmaster Tools account and specify the location for each one. How cool is that!!
Even if your site is hosted in your own country then we recommend you notify Google via Webmaster Tools just in case the hosting changes.
You can actually even get more granular and put City and street location in which is great but you should also add this info via Google Local.
I have to say a big thanks to Google for doing this. Hopefully this should help the right content be fed to the right people in the right country! Nice one!!