Set Geographic Target in Google Webmaster Tools

Oct 31, 2007 • 7:30 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Let Google Know The Geographic Location of Your Site from Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land has nice coverage of Google's new Set geographic target feature in Google Webmaster Tools.

In short, if your site is tailored to a certain geographic location, you may want to use this feature. Google says, "If your site is targeting users within a particular geographic area, please provide us with the relevant information below, using only the fields that apply to your target audience."

Clarify, it is not to tell Google. Hey, Google, my site is hosted in Canada. It is to say that I am trying to target users who are based in this specific location. So your site can be hosted anywhere, Google won't care, Google will learn that you are trying to target a specific location by you setting this feature. If you are a travel site, be careful when using this, because I am sure people in New York, looking to vacation in Spain, won't be searching for "Spain Vacations" while sitting in an Internet cafe in Spain.

To get to this feature, login to Google Webmaster Tools, click on "tools" and then click on "Set geographic target." You should see:

Set Geographic Target in Google

Specify your preference, and if that means, you want to specify a geographic target, you will see this:

Set Geographic Target in Google

Yes, you can get as granular as the street address you want to target.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.

Previous story: Yahoo Search October 2007 Update
 

Comments:

Toby Graham

10/31/2007 03:43 pm

so how do we think this is going to work? Is it going to increase your relevance to a term if the user is searching within your geographical area? Or the opposite whereby your relevance to searches outside the set geographical area is lowered? I have a site that is based within the UK but because of the European Union it is also relevant to users within EU countries.

Barry Schwartz

10/31/2007 03:46 pm

Let us know... I assume if you set it, it will weigh you more relevant in those specific regional searches.

Toby Graham

10/31/2007 04:10 pm

Barry I think your assumption would make sense, it just gives google an idea where you think your target audience is and responds accordingly. But don't you think it's possible that Google will change your weight for searches outside the set region? By specifying the geographical area that your site is relevant to, surely you are admitting that you are not as relevant to terms outside that area that your site currently features in?

Barry Schwartz

10/31/2007 04:13 pm

"But don't you think it's possible that Google will change your weight for searches outside the set region?" Yes, I do. That makes logical sense.

Jaan Kanellis

10/31/2007 08:31 pm

I wish we didn't have to always assume with Google. Why can't they tell us exactly what would happen if we do this? Maybe use some examples or case studies and how it works? We could have a mad scramble of people doing this soon and then crying because they lose a bunch of traffic from other regions that they are not directly targeting. I can hear them now.

James

11/07/2007 03:27 pm

I was just looking into setting our Geographical location but the info Google provided was vague about exactly what it will do. I think I may try it out on a crap/unused site and see what kind of outcome i get.

Kenneth Udut

11/09/2007 11:43 am

I'm primarily targeting a county in florida but since it is a tourist destination, I'd like users from other countries to be able to see it as well. Hm - this is confusing.

John Scott Cothill

12/12/2007 02:48 pm

"I'm primarily targeting a county in florida but since it is a tourist destination, I'd like users from other countries to be able to see it as well. Hm - this is confusing." - Kenneth Udut. Simple, just do not set the location. From what you've just said, it is tourist related, thus people from outside county X in Florida could well be searching for it. IMO, I would not set a targeted location in the tourist industry unless you specifically want tourists from location X. If not, leave it alone. I would and DO however use on a client that has a large UK eCommerce site. Targeted audience - UK, thus set to UK... Sales from outside the UK are marginal. However, after setting the location to UK, there has been no decrease on Google.com (checking this from IPs abroard) but there has been benefits in Google UK and searching Google.com from UK IP.

No Name

12/17/2007 03:48 pm

I think it is a good idea to set this if you are indeed getting most of your business from a certain area as it will boost your listing for that area. i.e. would you rather have more clients who purchase than those annoying clients outside your region who don't

SEO_Guy

01/18/2008 12:47 pm

I set this up for a website the day after it was released and still cannot see a presence in the country that I selected. Surely this is the whole purpose of the tool? If I have a .com tld and host the site in India but want to target the Australian market this tool should help me out!

Neil

03/07/2008 10:24 am

I nearly set the Geographical Location thinking that this might help but decided after reading this that I'll just leave it be. Thanks for the info.

Jame

06/20/2008 07:40 pm

i have set geographic target to my own projects using google webmaster tool but it is not working properly

vidinotes

10/01/2008 04:42 am

Its a useful step for some, not for all. A second, more robust step for those wanting to geo target their store or service area, is to use 'point of interest' data from seogis.com, especially if you want to 'ride-the-coat-tails' of local, more prominent points of interest/attraction.

No Name

01/24/2009 03:06 pm

Google has made some changes. Now you can set Geographical Location from setting.

Ovidiu

09/16/2009 09:55 am

Hi there. I have a fun domain that ends with .ru and google automatically associated it with Russia but it has nothing to do with Russia, the content is english. unfortunately in the back end I can't change the association, pelase see screenshot :-( http://screencast.com/t/f9waX1y5 Please help, how can I get rid of this ridiculous association? Hi there. I have a fun domain that ends with .ru and google automatically associated it with Russia but it has nothing to do with Russia, the content is english. unfortunately in the back end I can't change the association, pelase see screenshot :-( http://screencast.com/t/f9waX1y5 Please help, how can I get rid of this ridiculous association? http://screencast.com/t/f9waX1y5

No Name

10/24/2009 11:09 pm

Per page submission possible?

David Hockley

01/05/2010 03:10 am

I have an investment property website www.eliteglobalproperty.com and although our office is based in China, our clients are based globally and I would like the default location for the site to be UK. Please can you tell me where we change the settings?

john

03/26/2010 02:08 am

how can i set the geographical of my site http://www.redapplehost.com in Google? thanks.

Chris H.

05/19/2010 06:39 pm

Funny thing is, for the site I set geotargeting for... I got confirmation from Google that it was set last month, and since then the traffic has gone up more from countries not geotargeted, relative to traffic from the country I slected as the geotarget. Does this thing really work? Maybe it just takes longer than a month for it to affect the index.

Andree Ochoa

01/05/2011 04:07 pm

I did it for a site of mine and it decreased traffic and sales went down, so it didn't work for me, I think that this feature will work well for a niche site targeted to specific regions, I mean if you were to create your site for many different languages let's say Chinese or other language with special characters this is a great feature to use, other than that i don't think it helps that much.

Merlinox

01/19/2011 11:18 am

Does this setting has some consequence to site traffic?

Kit

03/01/2012 04:33 am

Google webmaster has changed its setting.. if your website domain is ".in", Geographic Target will be India only you can not edit it further

CommediaIT Solutions

04/20/2012 07:12 am

I have also some problem regarding geographical setting.  Does it effect in site traffic or sales?

Linx759

04/25/2012 08:20 pm

 Though Google says it works, I doubt that...

Ghazal Kaif

05/22/2012 06:37 am

Google not allowing me to change this settings for my website: http://www.apps0.com More over I also noticed and heard from others, it is of no use to set this geographic location.

Jane

10/05/2012 09:17 am

Hi! I manage three websites. one of them is http://best-off-grid-computers.com It is all about eco-friendly, battery-powered desktop computers. I've used Google Webmaster Tools and I've set the Geographic target to US. Will it help me get more traffic from the US? What other ways could you suggest to help me boost traffic coming from US? Thanks!:)

RaveDance

06/26/2013 02:40 pm

Thanks for the info was wondering what would happen if changed my location will i drop in results though as i'm seeing that i'm near the top in U.S.A so when i change region will i appear as high in the new results for my region ? www.ravedance.net

Kemenag Karimun

10/14/2013 01:45 pm

(Sorry if my english bad) I'm from indonesia, what should i do to set-my geo at webmastertool ?. My site http://kemenagkarimun.blogspot.com just good at google.co.id not at google.com,,as i know according at alexa.com top site by country = google.com is number 1 used by indonesian people than google.co.id (number 5 at alexa). No posting or articel solve this problem in my language.

Neetin Patidar

05/02/2014 12:53 pm

Thank you so much

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