The Essential Guide to Setting Geographic Target in Google Webmaster Tools

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We all know that Google Webmaster Tools enables the setting of a geographic target. By setting such a target country/location, webmasters are giving a specific signal to Google about the country/location that they want to focus on.

What if I want to set a Particular Country?

If your business is focused on a country specific target audience, you can make the appropriate setting on the Google Webmaster Tools, so that, you are able to target your country of choice.

For e.g. Say the target of your website is the US market. So, by setting “United States” as a geographic target, you will be able to focus on appearing at the top of the search engine rankings displayed by (US).

The following figure explains how you can set a particular country as a Geographic target in Google Webmaster Tools:

Geographic target

The Advantage

  • You can experience better results in the Country Code Top-Level Domain of Google that has been targeted.

The Disadvantage

  • You won’t be able to see extensive results in the search engine rankings of other countries

What if I am Not Setting a Geographic Location?

If you don’t want to target a particular country, you just need to keep the box unchecked as shown in the figure given below:

Geographic target


  • You will be targeting a global audience, across all countries


  • You won’t be able to see extensive results in the search engine rankings in a particular country

Having gone through the various advantages and disadvantages, you might wonder whether I can combine both these options to get the best of both worlds. Yes you can.

What if I want to Give More Importance to a particular country and also get the ‘Global’ Advantage?

First, set a geographic location that you want to focus on and then take the next step. This step is both, important and challenging. As a webmaster, to experience benefits of going global, you need to create backlinks keeping in mind the other geographical locations as it will help your website experience global visibility.

For e.g. You want to focus on a target audience based in the United States, but you still want to receive traffic from other countries. In this case, you need to set United States as your geographic target by ‘ticking’ the check box and choosing ‘United States’ from the drop down menu. After that, you can focus on attracting backlinks from other geographic locations.

But, this is an exception and can only happen in certain cases where your business is targeting a global market, but most of your clients are from a particular country.

Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer

Mark Spencer has more than 5 years of hands-on experience in SEO industry. He currently works for PLAVEB, a leading Website Design & Web Development... Read Full Bio
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