Google’s Matt Cutts has posted a new video talking about how Google deals with geographic targeting. This is a subject he has tackled on more than one occasion in the past, but in this latest one, he is elaborating on it a bit more, and explains that Google is looking more and more at this stuff as time goes on.
This particular video deals specifically with using Webmaster Tools to tell Google what country your site is relevant to. Cutts says the team that deals with what sites are relevant for which countries is starting to show, for example, dot coms a little bit more for other countries’ searchers.
He says one thing Google is trying to use as a signal is what users specify in Webmaster Central. For example, if you own a dot com but you’re more relevant to a specific country like Australia, you can specify that.
"Now the one thing to be careful of is not to sort of mix that up," he says. "For example, there was a site that was talking about a directory of streets that was really, really relevant to Singapore. Whenever you loaded it up, even though it was a dot com, it pretty much started with the island of Singapore and that was all you saw. Well, this site, we thought was about Singapore and they went in to webmaster central and they sort of changed their setting to say, ‘no, no we’re relevant to the U.S.’"
"Now, if you do that, if we think that you’re relevant to a specific country like Singapore and you change it to the dot U.S.," he adds. "What that can end up doing is you don’t show up for people in Singapore as much as you might not show up as much for people in the united states."
So basically, don’t use this as a way to try and optimize for other countries just to get more views from that country. What will happen is you will be more likely to not show up as much anywhere. Watch the video:
Here are a couple more geo-related videos from Cutts. They’re all fairly short and to the point.