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  1. #1
    GaryTheScubaGuy's Avatar
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    Default Advanced Geotargeting with Subdomains and Subdirectories

    Geotargeting for Language and Regional Targeting


    The ways that people search and the results the search engines are delivering are evolving rapidly. Smarter queries and more complex algorithms mean that you need to use various techniques to be sure you are showing up in the results. Local search, advanced search, regional search and language-based searches are some of the filters an end-user or a search engine can use in determining who shows up, when they show up and where they show up.


    Geotargeting is one tool Google has refined and one that you can manipulate to a point in order to increase saturation in any market.


    Beyond the obvious on-page considerations, different searches will deliver (in most cases) a different set of results. The results can differ greatly depending on several considerations;

    1. The IP of the end-user
    2. The server location of the website
    3. Any geographically targeted settings in Webmaster Central
    4. The relationship between the search filters and the resulting web pages (I.e. Did they search for Pages from [region] or Pages in [language]
    5. If the end-user is searching a different extension than the defaulted engine (they manually enter Google.com searching for US or English results in a non-US region.

    The other elements that will affect rankings will be back links;

    1. Are the links from a TLD that matches the destination URL (I.e. .nl linking to a .nl website)?
    2. Is the IP linking website located in the same region and the linked URL?
    3. Page rank,linking anchor text, additional outbound links on the page linking to you
    4. On-page relevancy
    5. Language based meta-tags
    6. Everything in the above 5 items relating to the linking website/page

    Any one of these elements can give you an edge over your competition.
    Searching any of Google's (non-US) datasets will generally return a variety of websites when no language or location filter is selected. These can include internal pages in a website, subdirectories (www.yoursite.com/french), subdomains (www.french.yoursite.com), and various TLD's (top level domains like .com and .nl). All 11 of the above factors are present in the automatic algorithm.



    The problem is that no one really knows which approach is best, or which algorithmic attribute is the most effective, so what can we do with this?



    What we want to do is to look at the existing results using the available search filters, and the existing websites that are ranking high and determine what the best strategy for your website is. This takes deep page analysis of your competitors.



    The important thing to note is that there is a hierarchy between one and the other in terms of which is the best solution. Every website has its own individual solution based on their demographics, site mechanics and available resources. What you need to consider are;

    1. Your target market?
    2. If you need or don't need geographical targeting?
    3. If you need language based subdomains or subdirectories?
    4. Should you move hosting?
    5. Can I afford to do it all?

    How & When to Use Geographical Targeting
    Here's what to do if you wish to;
    Geographically target a region?

    1. Create a subdomain or a subdirectory in the native language and use Webmaster Central to geographically target it
    2. Host the subdomain on a server in the native region and use geographical targeting
    3. Build back links from similar TLD's

    Target a specific language?

    1. Create a subdirectory in the native language (I.e. www.yoursite.com/nl/)
    2. Build back links from same language websites
    3. Do not use geographical targeting

    The reason that you do not want to use geographical targeting along with a language-based strategy is that if the end-user searches in the native language on Google.com, a site using content in that language will be stronger than the same site with geographical targeting in place. (This isn't dependent on whether you use subdirectories or subdomains unless you hosted the subdomain in the target region).



    The answer for me is that I want it all...and NOW!!
    I've recently had subdomains rank with geographical targeting turned on and in the native language rank top 10 in 6 weeks. I've had brand new websites with the appropriate TLD's (I.e. .nl, .de & .es) show up in 8 weeks. I've even had a .com hosted in the US without geographical targeting show up in the top 10 results for “Hollywood” terms when they had never been in results in the UK.



    You can start with subdomains. Look at your logfiles to determine where the current traffic is coming from to tell you what to do first. Bounce rates can also tell you a lot.
    For example, if your secondary traffic source is Germany and you have a high bounce rate, start with a language-based subdirectory, then maybe move onto creating a subdomain, hosting it in Germany, then set the geographical targeting to Germany in Webmaster Central. Then go back and start all over again using the region that has the next highest contribution.



    Important Things to Remember!

    • To target a language using only subdirectories do not use geographic targeting
    • You can target a language with both subdomains and subdirectories but if you have a top-level TLD (.com) use subdirectories versus subdomains.
    • You can use Google geographical targeting on subdomains and subdirectories
    • Your title should be in the native language and/or use regional slang terms where they apply.
    • Use language-based meta tags whenever targeting language-based searches
    • Host subdomains that are for geographical targeting in the target region
    • When you implement the subdomain strategy, link to it from the original website
    • Create new sitemaps for each subdomain
    • When creating meta tags and content be sure to use native slang. (If you sold pants in the US and the UK. Pants are referred to as trousers. Sweaters are referred to as jumpers.
    • Get back links from same TLD's (get a .nl link to your .nl site in the native language)
    • If you have a TLD (like .nl or .de) do not use geographical targeting. These domains are already associated with its designated region

    So in a nutshell, I recommend that if you already have an existing website with a TLD like a .com or .cu.uk, and they are your target market, do not use the geographical targeting option. Start building subdirectories using the top native language determined by looking at Google Analytics or your log files. Identify your top referrer language. If the languages are close, as it the case between the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, use native slang in the title, metatags and content. Build a new xml site map and manually submit it through all the main search engines.

    The next step is to create a subdomain and get it hosted in the region that you are targeting. Build content in the native language and get r submit it, as well as setting up the geographical target in Webmaster Central.

    By using this strategy, you will have a significant advantage over most of your competition (or a little less after this article is released). Whether the search is initiated in the region or outside the region, whether your site is located in the region or just hosted there, or even if they search in the native language or manually enter a specific Google engine like Google.com.mx or Google.es, you will have improved saturation.

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  3. #2
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    Ok Gary,i maybe stupid,
    but could you explain please,

    in case of targeting a specific language you say:

    The reason that you do not want to use geographical targeting along with a language-based strategy is that if the end-user searches in the native language on Google.com, a site using content in that language will be stronger than the same site with geographical targeting in place.
    For searches in the native language on Google.com
    Do i understand right that if i have the meta language tag on page (e.g. french) and in Googlewebmastertools country also set to France,it is worse than only the meta tag set?

    And how about searches in the native language on google.fr or on the "web" in google.fr in the case both meta language and country are set??

  4. #3
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    Default Geotargeting

    Hi Elgoog (for those that don't know I was edubacated in Amsterdam that this is actually Google backwards - now that's forward thinking!!...or not? )

    For searches in the native language on Google.com
    Do i understand right that if i have the meta language tag on page (e.g. french) and in Googlewebmastertools country also set to France,it is worse than only the meta tag set?
    Yes because geotargeting a specific region will reduce your results if I am French and searching from the UK in French.

    Either way you should have your meta language set to the target language in your metas on each page.

    If you are targeting France, use geotargeting.

    If you are targeting French, do not use geotargeting.

    If you have subdirectories for specifically the French language, these will target a search using the French language anywhere in the world.

    If you are building subdomains for each region (not language) instead of subdirectories use geotargeting.

    If you have a choice, build subdirectories to target language-based searches; use subdomains to target regions using geotargeting.

    Meta tags for language should be used in either case because these are placed on each page



    And how about searches in the native language on google.fr or on the "web" in google.fr in the case both meta language and country are set??
    This is the ideal situation, but there are many searches done in French from other regions and by selection one (France) you will diminish your rankings when someone outside of a French IP searches in French on Google.fr

    Set your metas on each page, target language with subdomains, target regions using geotargeting within Google Webmaster Tools.

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  6. #4
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    I just want to say that Gary helped me out with a bookmakers site that was ranking well everywhere except in the UK

    I started the UK targeted subdomain on April 1, its now 17th and climbing...

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    I read Gary's blog some time ago, and found geo targeting info. Here's the experiment I performed:

    I set up a sub blog on a .eu English site. The site has a three column lay out. I had all of the columns and header professionally translated in French. I set the metadata to French and followed Gary's overall advise on geotargetting the French language.

    Since it was an experiment i could not tranlate the entire site, so I used the Google's translator to translate English to French on about 10 blog posts.
    I realise that the translations were poor, and probably hurt the eye's and mind's of French speaking people, but the site yielded 15 sign ups in 4 months with €1000 in revenue (as an affiliate).

    So, targetting specific languages did work for my test. I do not recomend using Google's translation services, due to the low quality though.

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  10. #6
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    Can one geo target a subpage through Google webmaster tools?

    I have added one but am not sure it will work??

    http://www.qwertycasino.com/indexrussian

    Targeting set to Russia

  11. #7
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    Default Mobile SEO

    Moved to a separate thread.
    Last edited by GaryTheScubaGuy; 25 April 2009 at 2:36 am. Reason: Moved
    GaryTheScubaGuy

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    I use more than 20 subdomains for each region. I have very good success with Russian subdomain, it contains very good content written by me. Also I have very good success with Czech, German, Romanian, Bulgarian subdomains and even with Norwegian subdomain and others. Of course, these subdomains are not best, but I see visitors come back, because I update these sites with news and promotions every month.
    And until now I thought that I made a good work, but a one guy starts blaming me that my site and my subdomains is a spam network, and it's a blackhat SEO, and that I'm a very big link spammer.

  13. #9
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    Default Sub domain sitemap generators

    We have sub domains set up but all sitemap generators we have used on the internet will not generate a sub domain site map or it will only supply 1 page.

    Does anyone know of a good "sub-domain" generator that can be used and then passed onto Google Webmaster Tools?

    We are still having real sitemap probs with:

    http://www.grand-national-betting.org and nothing, it seems will generate a fully inclusive page with all urls available.

    Any help much appreciated.


  14. #10
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    I have been struggling to get a sitemap generator to work on one of my sites with no luck. All the ones i have normally used and new ones i have tried have failed but this one works perfectly:

    http://wonderwebware.com/sitemap-generator/

    Maybe worth trying for your problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by QwertyCasino View Post
    We have sub domains set up but all sitemap generators we have used on the internet will not generate a sub domain site map or it will only supply 1 page.

    Does anyone know of a good "sub-domain" generator that can be used and then passed onto Google Webmaster Tools?

    We are still having real sitemap probs with:

    http://www.grand-national-betting.org and nothing, it seems will generate a fully inclusive page with all urls available.

    Any help much appreciated.

    Paul

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    It's a very nice bit of kit, will certainly use, unfortunately did not work on http://www.grand-national-betting.org

    or my sub domains. Do they need to a certain age? One is three weeks, the others about 5 days.

    Gary I seem to remember you stating there was a strange error on this one.
    -----------------------
    I have just generated a sitemap by using the html version of the sitemap and google likes it, is this the wrong thing to do anyone?
    Last edited by oc+; 30 April 2009 at 10:14 am. Reason: Amendment

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    Quote Originally Posted by QwertyCasino View Post
    It's a very nice bit of kit, will certainly use, unfortunately did not work on http://www.grand-national-betting.org

    or my sub domains. Do they need to a certain age? One is three weeks, the others about 5 days.

    Gary I seem to remember you stating there was a strange error on this one.
    -----------------------
    I have just generated a sitemap by using the html version of the sitemap and google likes it, is this the wrong thing to do anyone?
    Hi Qwerty,

    I can't recall what problem you mention - could you refresh my memory?

    The html version of your sitemap is okay, but I would use Xenu to generate (and ftp upload) an xml sitemap. These are universal to MSN and Yahoo too and help you claim new content before a scraper gets too it! Just manually submit them the first time via each interface
    HERE
    GaryTheScubaGuy

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    We just cant seem to get a sitemap to work on grand-national-betting.org or any of our sub domains. ie. es.qwertycasino.com

    Have tried everything there possibly is but no joy.
    BetHelp.com | Snack-Media.com | BlackFoxMedia.com

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