Google Search returns the most relevant and useful sites for a user. Because of this, search results can differ between a user in Ireland and a user in France.
If your site has a generic top-level domain, such as .com or .org, you can help us determine which countries are most important to you. If your site has a country-coded top-level domain (such as .ie or .fr) it is already associated with a geographic region (in this example, Ireland or France). If you use a country-coded domain, you won't be able to specify a geographic location. You can specify a target country in the International Targeting report.
Set a country target
- On the International Targeting report, click the Country tab.
- Check the Geographic target checkbox and choose your country target. If you want to ensure that your site is not associated with any country or region, select Unlisted in the drop-down list.
This setting is only for geographic data. If you're targeting users in different locations—for example, if you have a site in French that you want users in France, Canada, and Mali to read—don't use this tool to set France as a geographic target. A good example of where it would be useful is for a restaurant website: if the restaurant is in Canada, it's probably not of interest to folks in France. But if your content is in French and is of interest to people in multiple countries/regions, it's probably better not to restrict it.
How do we determine location without Search Console?
If no information is entered in Search Console, Google relies largely on the site's country domain (such as .ca, .de). If you use an international domain (.com, .org, .eu), we'll rely on several signals, including IP address, location information on the page, links to the page, and any relevant information from Google My Business. If you change hosting provider for a country domain, there should be no impact. If you change the hosting provider of an international domain to a provider in another country, we recommend using Search Console to tell us which country your site should be associated with.
Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are domains that aren't associated with specific locations. If your site has a generic top-level domain such as .com, .org, or any of the domains listed below, and wants to target users in a particular geographic location, you should set a country target.
Google treats the following as gTLDs that can be geotargeted in Search Console:
- Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs): Unless a top level domain is registered as a country code top level domain (ccTLD) with ICANN, Google will treat any TLD that resolves through the IANA DNS root zone as a gTLD.
- Generic regional top-level domains: Although these domains are associated with a geographical region, they are generally treated as generic top-level domains (much like .com or .org):
- Generic Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs): Google treats some ccTLDs (such as .tv, .me, etc.) as gTLDs, as we've found that users and webmasters frequently see these more generic than country-targeted. Here is a list of those ccTLDs (this list may change over time).