02 May How to Target the Correct Country in Search Console
Google strives to provide the best and most relevant results to its users, which means that search results will vary from country to country.
While some informational websites or larger companies may be international, the majority of companies serve a single geographic location. This location could be as big as the entire United States or as small as a single neighborhood. A restaurant in Miami is not likely to show up when a person in Los Angeles is looking for a place to eat because it is not relevant. Likewise, search engines are less likely to see a website set for the United Kingdom as relevant for a user in the United States.
Not all words and phrases mean the same thing from country to country. The image above shows a search in America for “football.” As you can see, Google provided results that are most relevant to a user in America. (Shout-out to the Denver Broncos!)
A search performed in the United Kingdom provides a different result that is more relevant to the users in that area.
In certain instances, a person could be located in one country while targeting another. Pretend that I own a vacation rental in Vancouver, Canada. I want to target people in the US that are going on vacation to Vancouver. Setting the location in Search Console to the United States would notify Google of my interest in targeting the American tourist.
How Does Google Determine the Location?
If not notified within Search Console, Google will look at the website’s country domain (.uk, .au, .ca, etc.). Some country codes are considered generic or international, such as .com, .org and .edu. In these instances, Google will try to pull IP addresses, links, location details from the website, and information from local Google My Business pages.
How Do I Target a Country in Search Console?
To remove any doubt and confusion about which country to target, let Google know which country is relevant for your business. In the toolbar for Search Console, click on “Search Traffic” and then on “International Targeting.”
Once there, you will be prompted to choose a country to target. If you wish to stay unassociated with a country, select “Unlisted” from the drop-down menu.
Setting the correct country to target in Search Console is a simple step that ensures that your website is not penalized for an incorrect and irrelevant target country. As always, to achieve best possible keyword rankings, take care of the simple steps and see your results improve little by little.