Geotargeting the Google Search Console can be detrimental to search rankings


Using the international targeting feature of the Google Search Console, also known as “geotargeting,” can be detrimental to search rankings if you’re trying to reach a wide audience.

This topic is discussed during the working hours of Google Search Central SEO socializing, recorded on December 31.

An SEO named Aleem Bawany joins livestream to ask Google search lawyer John Mueller why the smaller sister page is in front of his main page.

Bawany says the main page publishes news content for a wider audience, which is sometimes republished on the sister page.

Despite the fact that the main site is a source of news, the smaller site is the one that achieves a better ranking.

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After looking at the page, Mueller says it could be due to international targeting settings in the Search Console.

See Mueller’s complete answer in the section below.

How geographic targeting can negatively affect rankings

Mueller personally looked at the page and ruled out any major issues that could keep the page in search results, such as manual penalties or unwanted links.

What he happened to notice was that the international page targeting settings in the Search Console were set for Pakistan.

This is fine if the primary goal is ranking in Pakistan, but it could negatively affect rankings in other countries.

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Mueller states:

“The only thing I noticed is that you have set geo-targeting in the Search Console for Pakistan. I don’t know if it’s imagined, if it’s something you’re trying to do. If you want to create a general English news site, then it probably makes sense to turn off geo-targeting. So it could be something that can help you. ”

If you want to target a global audience with your site, Mueller says you should “definitely” turn off international targeting in the Search Console.

“When it comes to searches, if you want to target countries other than Pakistan, such as a general English news site, then I would definitely rule it out. Because it can have an effect in really focusing on Pakistan and then focusing a little less on other countries. ”

Bawany goes on to ask Mueller how long it will take for the change to be reflected in Google’s search results.

Mueller says it could take anywhere from a week to several months.

Because the page in question publishes news content, the change is likely to be seen in search results faster than on other types of sites.

“I guess it will be from a week or two, to maybe a month or two. So I guess that’s the time frame that takes something like a geo-targeting setting to change.

As for the news website, I guess it will be a little faster than usual, just because with a news website we would focus on newer content, and with newer content we would see the settings very quickly.

So, probably in short for news websites, but I don’t know all the systems involved in changing geotargeting settings. “

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To listen to the full discussion, watch the video below:


Featured image: screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, January 2022.

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