Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, explains the main thing you should know about the complex topic of implementing geo IP redirects.
This topic is addressed in the latest installment of the Ask Googlebot video series on YouTube, which answers the following question:
“Can we do state-based geo redirection based on the user’s IP address?”
Here is Mueller’s response.
Google’s John Mueller On Geo IP Redirects
Mueller prefaces his response by stating this is a complicated topic that likely requires more assistance than he can provide in a single video.
“This is a pretty complex topic and it can cause headaches depending on how it’s implemented. So I’d recommend getting help from experts or reaching out to the Search Central help forum for advice. Take this video as a starting point.”
That said, Mueller continues his response by saying the most important thing to know is that Googlebot crawls and indexes webpages from a single location.
Why does that matter?
Understanding Googlebot crawls from one location is crucial because it means only one version of a website’s location-based content will get indexed.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to predict the location from which Googlebot will crawl your site.
If there’s content on your website you absolutely want Google to see for ranking purposes, make sure it’s shown to everyone who visits your site.
To that end, don’t block users in specific locations from reaching valuable pages on your site, or Google might not index them.
“The most important aspect here is that Googlebot usually crawls and indexes a website just from a single location. If you’re showing different content by location only one version will be indexed for search. Because of that, if there’s something you consider important on your website, make sure it’s on the default content that’s shown to all users. And finally, if there’s any page you want to have findable in search, make sure that you’re not blocking users in other locations from reaching that page.”
See Google’s full video below:
Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, October 2022.