Geo-targeting is the method of determining the location of a user and serving different content to visitors dependent on where they are viewing the site from. To find out more about how search engines crawl and index this content, along with recommendations and insights from Google, we have compiled common questions and answers within our Hangout Notes.

Server location is not used for geotargeting

January 10, 2022 Source

John confirmed that Google doesn’t use the server location for geotargeting. A question was asked about whether the server type and location matter and John said there may be a small speed difference in having your server closer to where your users are, but it may not be much of an issue if you have a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in place.

It is not possible to specify which countries and regions content should rank in

December 6, 2021 Source

There is no way to prevent Google indexing content in specific countries and regions, even if it’s not targeted to that audience. The example given was a user who wanted English pages to rank only in the US and the UK. If Google deems the content as relevant to users in other locations, there’s every chance it will be indexed there too (and nothing that webmasters can do to prevent this).

Hreflang x-default tags are required to show Google that a default URL is part of your page set

October 29, 2021 Source

The “x-default” tag allows Google to understand that the default version is a part of your set of pages. Failure to include this could see the default version unintentionally appearing in a region’s index.

ccTLDs Can be Shown to Global Audience But Can’t Geotarget Other Countries

January 11, 2019 Source

Sites with a ccTLD can be relevant to countries outside of the one associated with the TLD. However, a ccTLD won’t be able to geo-target other specific countries.

Geotargeting Can’t be Applied to Language Versions Which Are Split Out Using Parameters

October 30, 2018 Source

Google is unable to automatically detect and apply geotargeting if different language or country versions of a site are separated out using parameters.

Geotargeting AMP is Possible But Difficult to Implement

October 19, 2018 Source

Theoretically, you can geotarget AMP pages to countries with poor connection speeds. However, this wouldn’t be easy to implement, as Google tries to keep a global view by associating an AMP version with the normal version of the page.

ccTLDs Can’t be Applied to a General Region

August 21, 2018 Source

ccTLDs only work at a country level, so you can have ccTLDs for the different countries in Africa but you can’t have one ccTLD targeting the whole of Africa.

ccTLDs Can Target Other Countries Using Hreflang But Not Geotargeting

July 27, 2018 Source

ccTLDs can use hreflang to target pages to different countries but they can’t geotarget those pages for other different countries.

IP Addresses Are No Longer Used For Geotargeting or Local SEO

July 24, 2018 Source

Server IP addresses used to be a signal in the early days of Google’s geotargeting. Now Google uses ccTLD, generic TLD, hreflang, as well as settings in Google My Business and Google Search Console in combination to infer geotargeting information which is much more useful than a single IP.

Related Topics

Language Local Search Hreflang Internationalization