What are the best strategies for ranking at the top of Google’s international search engines?
 by Casey Markee

What are the best strategies for ranking at the top of Google's internationl search engines?

  • We're promoting a client's website that already ranks well in Google.com. However, the client now wants to focus on precise geographic regions, so we need to improve our country-specific SEO. Can you tell us the best strategies for ranking at the top of Google's international search engines targeting the UAE and Africa?

Answer: When we checked your server information, we learned your site is registered in Indonesia and hosted on server with a US-based mailing address and a US-based IP address coming out of New York. This is ideal only if your goal is to target Indonesia and North America. However, it's a problem if your goal is to rank well in Google's organic search results specific to the UAE and Africa.

Short of using Google Adwords to specifically target those regions you can't expect to have much luck generating business out of the UAE or Africa. That's because Google's region-specific search algorithm uses both the TLD (top level domain) extension of your site (in your case .com) and the site's web server location (based on IP address) when determining which search results are most relevant to the person doing the search.

In your case, Google "sees" that your site's server is located in NY, registered in Indonesia and written in the English language. Therefore, you get North American geo-targeting whether you like it or not.

To obtain the best possible region-specific SEO rankings, here's what you must do instead:

  • Change your web host to one residing in the target country. In your case, a UAE or Africa-based host.
  • Register new domains tied to TLDs in the UAE (.ae) and Africa. Here's a list of African TLDs. Most people go with South Africa (co.za).
  • T...

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