Q. Can you rank your website for local search engines and globally?
A. Goole has recently become much more intelligent in the ways which it reads/crawls websites and the factors they take into account when making ranking decisions for all websites. Google’s main objective has always been to give their users a fast and easy experience when they use their search engine – and be able to provide relevant and useful results in the user’s local area.
Amongst other factors, Google looks at your IP address, the location of your website, your url extension (.com.au, .com, .co.nz, .co.uk etc.), what your content is saying, your on page SEO, links to your website, age of your website etc. As a result of all of the above Google is strongly focused on providing the best local results for its searchers.
Any Google search engine optimization strategy you work on and the improvements you achieve for your website on google.com.au – will also improve your rankings on google.com – but only to a certain degree – the improvements will not be anything like they will be on google.com.au without putting in a lot of additional resource to compete in the world wide arena.
Depending on which additional Google you would like to rank in there is a few ways to achieve a local (google.com.au) ranking and a global ranking. If you are only interested in Google.com (worldwide search) than you can use your existing website- especially if you do not need to alter your brand or content for this broader audience. The only difference will be that you will have to work much harder to gain the same ground in Google.com that you have in Google.com.au. This is because of the much fiercer competition in Google.com.
However if you are ranking for Google.com.au and you would like to rank for another specific country – google.co.nz for example – a different approach is required. For every domain name Google will allow you to specify one country other than Google.com that you would like to predominantly rank in (this is via your Webmaster tools account). As a general rule, if you are already ranking in Google.com.au and you want to keep this result – you will have to set up another website or subdomain (preferably a .co.nz) specifically to take care of your New Zealand market.
This means that you are able to tailor your website to the country you want to rank in and can use the language, spelling, names and labels that people in that country recognise. Just like when building relevancy for a particular keyword within your website, Google likes to see that you are speaking to your audience in other countries in a way that they will respond to and understand.