Google’s John Mueller was asked what is the correct way to use a website to target a particular country.
The person who asked the question asked whether the country code top-level domain specific to that country and hosting is important.
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Geolocation is a reference to the practice of targeting a website (or part of a website) to a specific country/region.
There are many benefits to geolocation.
Many people trust and are satisfied with country-specific websites, especially country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs).
Geo-targeting also enables marketers to segment audiences by country.
Country Code Top Level Domain (cc-TLD)
Country code top-level domains, commonly referred to as ccTLDs, are country-specific domain names.
It is different from the more common generic top-level domains (gTLDs), which consist of .com, .net, and .org, as well as other domains that can be used in any country.
A ccTLD is a country/region-specific domain, which tells users in that country/region that the website is country-specific.
Is a ccTLD Necessary to Rank in a Specific Country?
Google’s John Mueller did not hesitate or stop to think before responding. His answer is clear. He said that there are two ways to geotarget specific countries/regions.
- One is to use the country level top-level domain, which would dot DE for Germany in that case.
- The other is to use a generic top-level domain and to use a geotargeting setting in search console.
Is Hosting in a Country Required for Ranking in that Country?
Next, John Mueller discussed the hosting requirements and pointed out that hosting in the destination country was necessary in the past, but it is no longer necessary.
Google Search Console provides an easy way to help publishers target ads to countries/regions.
The Google Search Console International Targeting Report makes it easy to target specific countries/regions to rank on Google.