Can Google Really Deliver Country Specific Searching?
This is a serious matter, can Google really deliver top quality search results for other countries? The answer so far is "sort of". In this article I will use Canada as an example of the quality or lack of it that is delivered by Google's search results.
Let's take a look at Canadian search results by Google.ca:
When you highlight "Canada" through Google search results and then start searching, you may by surprised at the amount of companies that aren't really Canadian. All of this also applies for the UK and so on...
In fact, many of the "paid results" come from American companies. Now some would argue that this is normal coming from American companies with large budgets but I would disagree because a lot of the bulk of the "Canadian specific" results are also American companies.
It is very apparent that this is a major growing concern with business owners residing in different countries.
As an owner not from the US, I would rather compete with companies that are more local than not, simply because the results would then be relevant. Irelevant results = poor results and less people take the search results seriously when they keep searching through crappy results online.
For example; If you highlight "search in Canada" and search for "web design", the top 2 results seem not to be from Canada. This is a serious issue. What if people click on "I'm feeling lucky", they are redirected to a company outside of Canada. The average person won't know what to think about that and may disregard searching through Canadian results further.
The more content specific the results are, the more people will search through those results. The more people will tell their friends & peers to search through those results. See, as web marketers, we do have the power to create a search term that people get familiar with. Just look at "Blogging". A couple of years ago, if you asked people to search online for "blogging" sites, you would have had a lot of confused faces staring at you. Nowadays, if you search for blogging and there is more than 900,000 results found in Google and to top that off, there is more than enough paid advertisers as well.
What do we see changing in Google?
The #1 thing we are now seeing more and more is search results listing websites with country specific domain name extensions. Here's what I mean by that....
If you were Google and you wanted to deliver better search results for Canada, how would you go about doing that?
I would look at 2 things:
1) Does the domain name end with .ca? (Ex. www.smartads.ca)
2) Does the "contact" information about the company match the country - Street, City, Province/State, Country. Are all of these factors listed within the contact page?
These are very important topics considering that more and more I see Google weighing your "contact" page higher than anything else within your website other than your front page. So the moral is, make sure to list EXACTLY where it is that you do business in within your contact page. Your website will rank higher for local searching when this technique is utilized.
Second, make sure to buy a domain name(s) that is country specific. If you live in Canada, buy a domain with the extension (.ca). If you live in the United Kingdom, make sure to buy a domain name with the extension (.uk). If you live in the US, make sure to buy a domain name with the extension (.us).
You may be asking, what if I don't want to concentrate on just local searching? Create a separate website to target different areas. There is nothing with .com, in fact most people automatically type in .com but, if you truly want to target locally, you have to play locally.
The future of search engines is local searching! More and more we see evidence of this. Targeting locally is a great start and will ultimately help you to target internationally later on!
I hope this article helps you out!
Martin Lemieux is the president of the Smartads Advertising Network who helps companies like yours to increase your business offline and online.
Smartads Internet Marketing: http://www.smartads.info
Smartads Canada: http://www.smartads.ca
Web Designers Directory: http://www.3dimentionaldesign.com
Copyright © 2005 Smartads Advertising Network - Reprints Accepted. Author resource must be included!
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