UK & Ireland Geo Targeting in Google Need Unique Content

Sep 8, 2009 • 8:29 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Often, when you want to create a localized version of your site, you can create a duplicate site on a ccTLD (country level top level domain). For example, if I wanted to geotarget this site to UK users, I would just place it on and maybe localize some of the English words, such as colour, favour, etc.

It doesn't always work this way, some languages require complete rewrites due to either being a different character type or the way people speak is completely different.

JohnMu from Google chimed in about a site that was being both targeted under different ccTLDs to both UK and Irish markets. In the Google Webmaster Help thread, John explained that when it comes to the UK and Ireland, often the sites that appeal to UK users also appeal to Irish users.

He made a few points:

(1) Google's searchers do not want the same content from two different sites in the same search results. (2) Google finds UK and Irish sites to be very related. John explained, "There are many Irish sites that are equally important for the UK (and of course vice-versa). Those are sites that we might choose to show in the UK search results, perhaps even above or in place of similar "UK" sites." (3) John said, using Google Webmaster Tools geotargeting setting may "help a bit in this regard, but it will take a bit of time to take affect and it's not guaranteed that it will always choose the right version (domain) of your site given that the external factors could be significantly different." (4) John added that you should make the "two sites are different enough that they can stand on their own." Otherwise, combine the sites under one domain and they can rank well in both the UK and Irish Google versions.

I am a bit interested in knowing that since many US sites are showing in Google UK results these days, does the same now apply here?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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