Google Global SEO

How Do You Tell Google Where You Want Your Content To Show Up?

Sadeep Malvly, who is employed by Systemetix Infotech in Indore India, submitted this week’s SEO question of the week.

To answer this question I will discuss some of the strategies discussed in Anne Kennedy’s new book “Global Search Engine Marketing: Fine-Tuning Your International Search Engine Results

Also because Google is one of the most dominate search engines in the world, our focus in this article will be on Google Global SEO.

How Do You Get Google To Know Where to Show Your Content?

To address this question you need to first develop your site(s) properly so Google knows what countries/languages you want your site to appear in.

1- Your Top Level Domain Name

The most important thing in Google Global SEO is your top-level domain.

Example, if you want your website to appear in Spain, you should get an .es domain extension.

Does this mean that you need to develop websites for each country and/or language you want your site to index in?


One strategy Anne discusses is to create sub-directories, second level domains, or subdomains on your main site.

As an example, you may create a subdirectory for Spain or a directory for the Spanish language.

If you do create sub-domains on your site for whatever reason, remember that you will need to verify them using Google’s Webmaster Tools.

One word of caution – if you’re considering using regional top-level domains (rTLDs) like .eu for Europe or .asia for Asia, Google generally treats these as generic top-level domains much like a .com or a .org.

Therefore, you should also create subdirectories or second level domains for these as well.

2 – The Location of Where Your Site is Hosted

Google does give preference to generic domains hosted within countries you wish to target; therefore, if you want your .com to show up higher in Japan, then host it with a provider that has a Japanese IP address.

Local hosting also lowers the page load times which also helps you with Google’s Caffeine algorithm.

However, these preferences can be overridden within Google’s Webmaster Tools and by adding HREF language tags to your mark-up.

The exception to this preference with Google is the Great Firewall of China.

A tip on how to find a hosting provider in another country is to first find a website that is ranking well within that country and then do a whois to identify the hosting provider.

3 – Language

The language used on your website is also a ranking signal for Google in deciding in what country your site should appear.

However, as there are many languages shared by countries all over the world, you should consider using the HREF language tag in your code.

For multiple language versions of a site, each language must use the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”

More information about the HREF language tag can be found here.

Examples of the HREF Language Tag

Here is a basic example of using the hreflanguage tag on a home page of a website, along with the use of subdomains for different languages: – Is your home page is the sub-domain for your users in Spain is the sub-domain for your Spanish speakers in the UK is the English only version.

On the Home Page, you would use the following markup:

<link rel=”alternative” hreflang=”es” href=”“/>
<link rel=“alternative” hreflang=”es-ES” href=”” />
<link rel=”alternative” hreflang=”es-UK” href=”” />
<link rel=”alternative” hreflang=”en” href=”” />

A tip is to include links to other alternate language pages on each page of your site and to include sitemaps.

4 – Location Information and/or Google Places

If you have a physical location within the country you want to target, do NOT forget your NAP (name, address, telephone number).

Be sure that your NAP is also consistent thoughout all of your listings with other directories and websites.

5 – In Country/Language Links

Having inbound links from the country and language you are targeting from other authority websites is vital if you want to rank high.

These links should be on local domains within the country. Also use relevant keywords to the local content for which you wish to rank and include these local keywords.

Tips on finding In-County Links

  • Use the Open Directory Project (
  • Use Google Translate to help you find your way around on a foreign language website

6 – WebMaster Tools & Geo-Location Mapping

If your site or sub-domain targets one particular country, go into Google Webmasters tools andset your search results to that target country.

However, do NOT use this option if you want to target multiple countries with a single language.

7 – Avoid Duplicate Content!

To avoid duplicate content issues, make sure that you have unique titles and directory URLS in the language you are targeting.

Also, consider rewriting your session ID’s

Do You Have a SEO Question You Would Like answered?

Do you have a SEO or Internet Marketing question that you would like answered by a SEO professional?

If yes, please go to our SEO Roadmap Facebook page and submit the question.  We are happy to help.

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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3rd December 2012 No Comments

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