Geotargeting 101

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How can we search for pages local to a particular country?

For starters, there are country code top-level domains. To find pages that belong to a country-level domain, we can simply use X-Ray:

site:za 

But there are many other domains, that don’t point to a location. When figuring out the region for a page on a generic domain, such as .com or .org, Google uses the pages’ IP address (revealing the location). It may use a few other signals, such as location information within the page HTML code and locations of other pages pointing to this one.

Google’s Advanced Search has a setting, allowing to search for pages, which Google identified as belonging to a region:

 

If we set a region in the advanced dialog, we will not see it reflected in the search string. Instead, the setting generates an addition to the search URL that looks like this:

&cr=countryNZ.

Here is an example search narrowed to a region:

chemical engineer

We can exclude country-specific domains and examine what Google brings in as local to a country, based on factors other than the country-specific domain:

chemical engineer -site:nz 

An interesting – and practical – use case for using the “region” advanced setting is X-Raying LinkedIn. Take a look:

Now, here is a question for my readers: can you reliably X-Ray LinkedIn for US-based profiles only, using the advanced region setting? The first person to email me a correct, supported by examples, answer, will get a guest ticket to one of our next sourcing webinars.