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How to GEO target Google

Do you want to get customers from outside the United States? Is your business located in Europe or another part of the world? There are a few things to consider if your website is aimed at people outside the United States.

Google's market share outside the US:

Google is the biggest player in the US market. They also have a big market share in other countries:

Country Market Share
Google Germany 89.20%
Google UK 70,25%
Google Bulgaria 90.00%
Google France 89.79%
Google Netherlands 95.00%
Google Poland 90.00%
Google Israel 90.00%

Source: Lunapark

If you want to get customers from outside the US then you must make sure that your website is prepared for Google's local versions. For example, Germans who enter Google.com in their web browsers are automatically redirected to Google.de.

Google returns different results in different countries

Google.com and Google.de return different results. For example, Google.de returns totally different results for the keyword "auto" than Google.com.

That means that websites must meet certain criteria to be listed in Google's local versions.

What you can do to get listed in Google's local versions

1. Get a country specific domain name

If you want to get high rankings in Google.co.uk then you should have a .co.uk domain name. This is by far the most important factor. A local domain name makes it much easier to get high rankings in country specific search engines.

2. Make your web page content relevant to your target market

If you're trying to sell something in Germany, it is obvious that your web page content should be in German. If you're website is aimed at people living in the UK, mention your full UK address in the footer so that search engines can associate that address with your website.

3. Check your server location

If the IP address of your server is based in France then Google can take this as an indicator that you're targeting the French market.

Getting high rankings in Google's local variations is easier if you follow the tips above. Note that your web pages still must be optimized for your keywords if you want to get high rankings.

In addition, Google only lists your web pages if you have good inbound links.

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July 2008 search engine articles