The original domain suffixes —
, and so on — are not strictly U.S. domains and are somewhat
region-agnostic. For that reason, especially if the site is in English targeting UK individuals, it becomes
very important to use other cues to indicate what region the site targets. Using something other than a
should be avoided for a differing region; that is, a
should probably not be used for
a Japanese site, despite the obvious language cues, and it certainly should not be used for an American
site, which would normally lack such cues.
A server ’s physical location can be derived by IP using a database of IP range locations. You used such a
database in the geo-targeting example from Chapter 11. In the case of a UK site hosted on a
it is important to check that the server is located in the UK, not just that the company has a presence in
the UK. You can check the location of a netblock using the tool at
Many hosting companies in the UK actually locate their servers
elsewhere in Europe due to high overhead in the UK.
Subdomains can be used on a
domain name as a means to locate hosting elsewhere. So
could be used, and a sep-
arate server with a UK IP address could be employed. This is the only way to accomplish this, because
subfolders on a web server must be delivered by the same IP address/network.
Include the Address of the Foreign Location if Possible
This is an obvious factor that search engines are known to use for local search. Ideally, a web site would
have the address in the footer of every page.
Dealing with Accented Letters (Diacritics)
Many languages, including Spanish and most other European languages, have accented letters. In prac-
tice, especially on American keyboards, which lack the keys necessary to generate these characters, users
do not use the accented characters (that is, e vs. e). Yet some search engines, including Google, do distin-
guish, and they represent different words in an index, effectively.
Figure 12-1 shows a Google search on Mexico. You can access this page through
. Figure 12-2 shows a search for Mexico, through
. As you can see, the results are very different.
Google Trends also makes it clear that the two keywords have entirely different quantities of traffic, with
the unaccented version winning by a landslide. This is probably because Mexico itself is also an American
word, but it is clear that not all Spanish speakers use the accented spelling as well. Figure 12-3 shows
the Google Trends comparison between Mexico and Mexico, which you can reach yourself at
URLs are particularly appropriate because it actually looks more professional to remove the accented
characters, because they are encoded in the URL and look confusing — that is,
Chapter 12: Foreign Language SEO
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