Oct 31 2007

Attention Aussie Bloggers

Recently I wrote about Google Webmaster Tools and many of the responses were centred around “yes, but I’m not really sure what do with it”.

If you

  • are in Australia,
  • not using a .com.au domain,
  • hosting your blog overseas (or on blogspot) and
  • you want to come up when Aussie Google users search “pages from Australia”

then you’ll probably want to know about this new function on Webmaster Tools.

It is now possible to easily geographically target your website (or subdomain) to a specific location (i.e. “pages from Australia“).

When logged into Webmaster tools, under “Tools” select “Set Geographic Target”:

Set Geographic Target


Geographic Target

You are then presented with a form to fill in the details of the location you want to target. Too easy!

Christine from Semfire has some more Google geographic targeting information.

Update: There is now more information available on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Attention Aussie Bloggers”

  1. Kinon 31 Oct 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks! Another thing to add to my blog “to do list” as well as create a favicon.

  2. Megon 31 Oct 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Hey Kin

    Mate, I hate to be the one to add to your work load – but I’m hoping this is a good thing 😉

  3. Joyce Babuon 01 Nov 2007 at 5:11 am

    I liked the previous Urchin interface much better than the current one. I always find it confusing.

  4. Colin Campbellon 01 Nov 2007 at 8:15 am

    I looked at this and I have to verify my blog it seems. The option to use tools is greyed out. I have to add some code to my blog, but not too sure where I would add it in Blogger. Great idea all the same. These kinds of things are often written by geeks for geeks and I sometimes struggle with these kinds of things.

  5. Christine Parfitton 01 Nov 2007 at 8:17 am


    Did you try it? I posted the news before going to look at the functionality in any detail. I’m just having a look now and I expected to just select a country.

    I didn’t really expect a full address field and it seems more tied in with local business results rather than solving the problem of identifying the website country location.

    The instructions say “please provide us with the relevant information below, using only the fields that apply to your target audience” and yet I can’t just enter a country.

    Actually I can’t put anything in the country field at all even if I fill in the other details. Is it just me? : )

  6. Neeravon 01 Nov 2007 at 9:34 am

    Well spotted Meg

    Hopefully this will strengthen the Aussie traffic for my 2 blogs even more (currently appx 55%)

  7. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 11:24 am

    Hi Joyce – I find it a bit confusing too. And in Australia, we can’t check the “current” day until after 6.00 pm (until it officially starts the new day somewhere in the world).


    The meta tag needs to go just after the < head > tag – see this for a good tutorial. I’m no geek (though I’m trying my best)!

  8. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 11:28 am

    Hi Christine

    I think it’s because we’re on the .com.au domain already. I tried with a .com blog that I have hosted overseas and the options were presented.

    I suppose it’s restrictive if you have a .com.au domain and you want to target another country. Perhaps with country specific domains, you can’t – like .au and .uk (you’re restricted to that country)?

    Can’t see why anyone would want to get specific to street level though.

  9. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 11:34 am

    Neerav – well applause to Christine *claps* I just ran with it. Hope it helps too, but maybe I shouldn’t have said anything? Extra competition in the “au” space 😉

  10. Christine Parfitton 01 Nov 2007 at 11:54 am

    Meg, You should definitely have run with it. I appreciate the link and I liked your screen shots. The more comments in the “au” space the better.

    Ahhh – I’m glad you found that it was because we already have a .com.au. I realised it wasn’t necessary to specify the location for my website but I was just seeing how it all worked.

    There’s a few things I haven’t got to grips yet like targeting another country with a sub domain and how all that will play out.

  11. NRMA Motoring Blogon 01 Nov 2007 at 11:59 am

    Thanks very much for this! Not having a .com.au domain, we could do with some help.

  12. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Christine – it did have me stumped (which is why I didn’t put the next screen shot in), but then looking at the .com domain, it made sense.

    The sub-domains could be good for multi-nationals to have country.website.com – but not overly relevant to me at the moment!

    NRMA – I’m assuming that your website is hosted in Australia, which should mean that you’re picked up in “pages from Australia”.

    Nice to see you again!

  13. Scotton 01 Nov 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I just tried it on one of my .com domain. After filling in the address, it came up with a box:

    “Add your business to Google Maps

    Want to help customers find you on Google Maps? Visit our Local Business Center now to sign up for a free business listing. You can include your address, hours of operation, photos and more.”

    So you can guess what they are getting at…

  14. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Scott, very clever…

    Thanks for reporting that back.

  15. Christine Parfitton 01 Nov 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Scott – yep – it’s all part of local search

  16. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 12:30 pm

    All in the grand scheme of internet (world?) domination 😉

    OMG I just thought of a LOLCat “we iz ownin Ur Internetz”. Someone shoot me now :(

  17. Traceyon 01 Nov 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Meg – I’m interested in this but I’ve stumbled at the first hurdle! What do you mean by “When logged into Webmaster tools” ?? Who/what/where are Webmaster tools? (My blog, for now, is on blogspot.)

  18. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Tracey

    Here are a couple of links to get you started. A little on what it’s all about:


    And a “How to” for Blogspot blogs:


  19. rodon 01 Nov 2007 at 10:41 pm

    great find Meg,

    I would be keen to see some feedback on ranking effects as to whether it moves the content into geo relevant database or does it on the fly. So effectively should see some loss in g.com rankyness and after a while gain g.au rankyness if db swap.

    Yes, Great way for them to get more data for Local at the same time!

    Someone at the g webmasterblog has got the right idea on what should happen:
    “It would be more practical however if all the search engines got together and agreed upon a specific meta tag (preferably one of the existing ones) and all announced they would use this.”

    Many have wanted this for ages, country and even language meta tags where once fairly well used by webmasters but not much anymore since most of the major engines ignore them….heaps easier – and a bit less domination!

  20. Megon 01 Nov 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Hey Rod

    You know what’s odd. I remember when I was on wordpress.com au.Yahoo.com picked up my blog in results from Australia. Not sure whether they have some sort of advanced system or not (or just not a very effective search).

    I agree feedback will be interesting.

    Nice to hear from you :)

  21. rodon 02 Nov 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Yep, at last look I think Y uses a combination of factors like where links in and links out go, context and may indeed pay some attention to language and country meta tags along with host IP and seemingly, somehow, get its right a lot of the time….shame about it being otherwise fairly crappy! MSN and G are purely based on host IP. All thats, as you know, applies if your not using a geo domain name.

    There is another way to geo target too: 302 the .com.au to the .com (.com hosted in US) – rankiness in both geo indexes. Or mirror the content onto multiple geo relevant IP addresses……

  22. […] Meg from Blogpond talks about how the new Geographic Target feature in Google Webmaster Tools and how it can help us Aussies – Attention Aussie Bloggers […]

  23. Burgoon 20 Dec 2007 at 11:05 am

    Wow. Ok, so I’m about a month late here with this question… but Meg, just as a matter of interest, do you know if this setting also effects the users who click on “only pages from this country” in google search? I mean, I know it will have an effect on the actual rankings for a .com site on australian google, but would it also ensure that your site is included in the “Australian pages only” searches, even if it was hosted in the US?

    Burgo’s last blog post..Jack Johnson’s New Album. And, another Christmas Cover.

  24. Megon 20 Dec 2007 at 11:19 am

    Hi Burgo

    If you have a .com site that is being hosted on an overseas server, and you set it up to target Australia in Google Webmaster tools, my understanding is that it WILL show up under a “pages from Australia” search.