As a follow up to my entry on Country Specific Filters & Weights, I would like to discuss a topic being discussed in a couple of forums today. The question at hand is, what will increase my chances of ranking well in the Google results outside of the United State of America. Yes, Google does deliver different results based on the geographic location of the searcher and the host. Even the legendary GoogleGuy from WebmasterWorld said "but for now the only way we can be sure that a .com is truly relevant for e.g. UK search is to see things like the .com is hosted in the UK." For more on that please read Country Specific Filters & Weights. Now that we know about this location specific ranking filter (or whatever you want to call it), what can we do if you want to rank well outside of the US centric Google results?
Two forums are discussing this topic right now, WebmasterWorld and SearchEngineWatch Forums. To keep things brief, I will detail what I believe works best today and leave out the remaining tips (some of which I do not think work) from this forum posts.
Keeping everything equal (i.e. link popularity, on-page seo, etc.), the most important aspect in ranking well outside of the US for a searcher outside of the US is to have a server hosted on an IP address that matches the same geographic area of the searcher. What comes into play next is separating out the domain name to its own, country specific tld (i.e. .uk, .il, .ca, etc.). The character set, if your in Israel and you use a Hebrew font, is an important factor. I would also think Google looks at the regional directories you are placed within the ODP and Yahoo (but I have no proof of this). Those are the most important areas to ranking well outside of the US, keeping everything else equal.
SearchEngineWatch Forums takes this one step further by asking the question Should Search Engines adopt different results outside the U.S.?