SEO GEO Targeting in Google Webmaster Tools

by seoibiza on 11, December, 2008

Or watch out UK SEO here we come…

Back in March we flipped the GEO switch to Spain inside Webmaster Tools mainly out of curiosity really, as we have no Spanish content as yet (not long now, promise) but really just to see how it affected rankings.

The site is hosted in the US and was always at it’s strongest in US searches, breaching inside the top 20 for SEO this last few weeks on the gl=us string, and considering it’s set to Spain, SERPs here have always been fairly erratic, and much more predictable (if there is any such thing) in straight searches.

And the UK is a funny one currently, some terms rank side-by-side with their counterpart in the US, more or less tracking the .com results, maybe +/- 1 position or so, some are even slightly better in the UK, and yet other terms are easy top 10′s on but totally off the radar on

So now, more as an experiment than anything else we’ve reset the controls inside WMT to “UK” and will watch changes to GEO weighting closely over the coming months.

Physical hosting location of the site is still far and away the most important factor when it comes to GEO targeted rankings, and US / UK are almost entirely different indexes at times, with only rare (usually really strong sites) showing in both.

We have done this 18 months ago, (moved hosts, not WMT settings) but are curious with today’s Google what’s changed if anything, – just how effective the switch is, how much one area has to suffer, and how much benefit there is to be had on the new target index.

and with various clients considering moves,  we need to test it again ourselves on the sacrificial alter,

- poor site takes some proper stick in the name of research, it must be said.

Keep you informed as always..

btw, the sitelinks also started showing again today on both and for “SEO in Ibiza” whether Google means to say we are the authority on that subject or not..

..we damn well are..  ;)

{ 5 trackbacks }

Small Business SEO UK
19, December, 2008 at 12:53 am
Google GEO SEO - UK Setting in Webmaster Tools
29, December, 2008 at 3:17 pm
UK SEO - GEO Targetting Experiment
14, March, 2009 at 2:41 pm
GEO & SEO Contest Update | SEO Ibiza - Superior Small Business SEO
14, May, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Google Algo Watch
17, July, 2009 at 6:35 pm

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Diseño Ciudad Real 2, January, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Congrats mate, thanks for this useful blog. I’m trying learn some about SEO and this site is great. Bookmarked.

Tim 21, July, 2009 at 7:08 pm

How important is the domain when geo-targetting?
I work in South Africa, and it’s common to host .com domains locally, it’s also common to host .com domains internationally that may be targeted to South Africa in the Google Webmaster tools, and it’s also fairly common (but not as much as the other scenarios) to host domains in the US because of the cheap bandwidth and hosting fees.

seoibiza 21, July, 2009 at 8:08 pm

not sure what you mean by how important is the domain? in what respect?

Tim 21, July, 2009 at 9:14 pm

If I have a site like and I host it in the USA (ip block owned by dreamhosts or whatever), will Google treat me any differently to actually hosted in South Africa? Does the domain matter? Does the host IP matter? Or is it only if you connect your site to a country through webmaster tools?

seoibiza 21, July, 2009 at 10:10 pm

yes the geo location of the server is one of, if not the main geo ranking factor.

if you want a to rank well outside of SA hosting it in the states would probably be better than in SA.

then setting it to the USA in WMT should give you the best performance.

the other significant factor is where your links are from, links from a geo area, will usually help you rank better in that area.

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