This topic comes up pretty regularly as it affects quite a few websites in the space. People are wondering how with more regionalization of search results these multi-language or geospecific websites are faring in today's result set. The thread on WMW highlights some of the experience and thoughts from posters concerned about these trends. I think people are looking to understand how the search engines are responding to geolocation sites. What is the process for which they consider these websites?
A member asks:
I remember reading either GG/MC suggesting CCTLDs was the preferred option when targeting specific countries, so are the days of the multi-language single site numbered?
Rainborick responded to how the search engine are treating CC TLD's these days "The search engines behavior in this area has remained unchanged in at least 2 years. They check for a CC TLD first, and failing that refer to the IP address of the server. It is easy to see why they chose these methods. Its dirt simple to implement because it doesn't require a lot of ongoing processing, and reasonably reliable in terms of the Web overall. Routine updates of the generic TLDs' IP addresses is all that's required."
It seems everyone is quite interested more in how multi-language websites are treated. There is no consensus how these websites are treated, but some do offer plausible examples on how they are approached.
So what are they doing differently these days? Here are some thoughts.
"What's new in all this is that for generic terms G is boosting "local" pages in the "web search" results and it now depends mostly on the strength of the local competition how well "foreign" pages will feature."
"Its not just Google. Yahoo! and MSN both give geo-location a great deal of weight in their rankings for all web searches."
Some good information and discussion continued at WebmasterWorld.