Why Do Most SEOs Prefer Country Code Top Level Domains for International SEO?

Everyone’s going bonkers after the LIVE update of Google update. I thought I would write a quick post on giving out some simple but useful tips on targeting the International market.

Ways to Target the International Market

CCtlds is the preferred method of most SEOs because, in addition to targeting the locals, every domain name has its own authority. Google automatically figures out the IP and knows which country you are targeting. Brilliant, isn’t it?

A sub domain is another way you can target different countries. The problem here though is it is looked at as a different entity. As a result, you will need to perform additional link building efforts because none of the power is passed through the main domain to the sub domain.

Creating subfolders for each country you are targeting is another technique. But with this option, will Google pass the power to the homepage or the subfolder?

By using Google Webmaster Tools you have the ability to select the subfolder as the main domain of a specific country, however many SEOs and experiments have proven there is still a bug in this system.

Here are some of the questions that have been asked while using CCtlds to target the International market:

Does having the same content in order to target International markets have any negative effects on SEO?

Google affirms it does not have any negative effect on SEO. But from a user’s perspective, while many countries speak the same language, they maintain many forms of slang. Therefore, the content should be written to target the locals/users of that specific country.

Is hosting a ranking factor?

This is a tough one to answer. Some SEOs say hosting is not as major of a factor as it used to be a year ago, but then again some SEOs say they still prefer the domain to be hosted in a specific country.

Will domain interlinking have a negative impact?

Some companies have up to 50 CCtlds, yet the question remains: would interlinking between the domains have any negative impact? I don’t believe so, but I do believe it would be beneficial if they maintained different hosts.

Here are some of the ranking factors:

  • Links
  • Relevant content
  • Site Speed
  • CTR
  • Hosting (has minimal effect these days)

In addition to helping Google determine the country of origin, currency symbols are becoming more and more valuable and relevant; believe it or not, (currency symbols) also affect the conversation rate.

Here are some juicy takeaways regarding International Search Engines:

  • In China, Baidu has 68% of the search market compared to Google, which has less than 20%
  • In Russia, Yandex has 65% of the search market, while Google is at 21% and Mail.ru is at 8%

Here’s a video from Google that covers the influence of search results in the International Market –