just getting an understanding about how Google search ranks sites due to geographical location.
Ranking according to geo location suggests that millions of sites would need to move hosting to their own country.
Millions of sites are hosted in in foreign countries due to
- no proper service where they are,
- radically cheaper in other places
- faster servers
- better security
So my understanding is:
1 Using a country domain - .au, .us, etc means you will be "geo ranked" (my term) as being in that country and this (ranking aspect) cannot be changed.
2 Using a generic domain - .com, .net, .biz etc means you will be geo ranked as being in the country where the server is and can only be changed by moving the hosting to where you want the site to be 'geo ranked'.
MY SUGGESTED SOLUTION:
While meta tags have largely fallen out of use, Google still uses them (for instance, "Description" if there is one there) when nothing meaningful can be gleaned from a site's home page. Surely the geo situation could be solved by using a meta tag for engines to use called Location where the site owner could nominate their preference with something like "latitude/longitude", "country", "country/province/", "country/province/city", "global" (for online shops where location is irrelevant and unwanted) etc.
Do I have it right in 1 & 2
Some Australian hosting companies have their servers in Australia and some use servers in the US (I believe most hosting customers would not know either way nor be aware of it being a ranking factor). How does this affect (complicate?) the situation?
If we make it clear "where we are," with "Sydney, Australia" on the home page and in meta tags," then is all of the above of no significance, except perhaps where a business is adamant about wanting to rank number 1 in their favoured area?
Google doesn't only rely on the TLD to determine where as website is aiming. It will also consider the registrant location, the server location and the content. If a site is owned by someone in Australia, hosted on servers in Australia and is all about Australia, Google is smart enough not to need it to be on a .au domain to know who to show it to.
2 is definitely wrong. If you have a generic domain - .com, .net, .biz etc then you can reassign the website's geo-targeting with Google Webmaster Tools under:
Site configuration ==> Settings ==> Geographic target
Domain registration on same location, TLD, hosting on same location is one of the hundred factors which is used by google to rank any keyword. If your site is well optimized for any specific geolocation then google will definitely rank your keyword well comparing to the domain registered in same location but not well optimized. So, keep your concentration on quality SEO of your website.
if you want to target keyword only for any country. so you need to prefer country specific keyword and it is also more beneficial that you prefer domain name with country specific extension.