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Should You Enable International Targeting In Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console

This question comes in webmaster’s mind that enabling international targeting in “formally known as Webmaster tools which is currently Google search console” would help in search rankings or not. Many people are not sure what pros and cons are associated with specific country targeting and how it affects overall ranking of a website.

Let’s start from the beginning…..

What Is International Targeting Or Country Specific Targeting In Search Console

When you login to search console, under search traffic tab you will find international targeting. You may tick the box and select specific country for targeting.

international targeting


Effects On Search Results

When you select some specific country to target, google gets a signal that your website content is most suitable for that country and it gives you some boost in search ranking if the queries are generated from that specific country.

Should You Enable Targeting?

It really depends on your website content whether or not you should enable or disable targeting. If your website is in specific language e.g. Spanish, French, German or any language other than English, then it becomes important for you to make it country specific. Because, if it appears in other countries it might increase your bounce rate and low CTR. But if you have a website which is equally useful for all the countries and have universal language like English then you do not need to target specific country.

Why You Should Not Target A Country If You Have Universal Website

Targeting will provide you little boost in search results of a targeted country that’s true but what you will lose in return?

On one side when Google will push ranking in targeted country, it will also drop your ranking significantly in other countries. This means you will lose universal traffic that comes around the globe. Let’s understand this in an example below;

international targeting


Related: Top 46 Search Ranking Factors In 2017

Let’s suppose if global searches that are closely related to a specific page on your site are 100,000 monthly, then you might have the same searches in your country around 10,000 or even less. This means you are not much exposed to 100,000 queries rather you are exposed to only 10,000 queries. However, the chances of getting clicked are higher in your own country because you are ranked well and your position is better there, but again these chances are only restricted to one country. On the other hand if you haven’t targeted any country Google will diversify your search appearance and ranking in different countries, there is greater precision if you are not ranking well in one country you will rank better in other country and this goes on and on.

All this creates more opportunities for you to rank better globally


When You Should Target Specific Country

As mentioned earlier you should only use international targeting when you believe that the content is only relevant to specific people in the country and it has no use in other countries.

Country Specific Domains

Some domains are country specific e.g. domains with .co.uk, .au, .pk, .ca etc. these kinds of domains are automatically ranked better in their countries, these domains have almost similar effect like international targeting  but Google give more priority to country specific domains against country targeting.

If your website content is global like a blog, then it is recommended that you should not buy a country specific domain.

Related: Improve Search Ranking With Local SEO


Mark Goodman

Digital marketing enthusiast and industry professional in Digital technologies, Technology News, Mobile phones, software, gadgets with vast experience in the tech industry, I have a keen interest in technology, News breaking.

7 thoughts on “Should You Enable International Targeting In Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console

  1. Hi, can you please explain the difference between disabling International Targeting (untick the box) v.s. targeting to Unlisted (boxed ticked)?

    1. When you will tick/check the box and select the country to target, it will enable international targeting for that specific country. When you will uncheck the box it will keep the site universal and not targeted for any specific country.

      1. Hi, not sure it was the expected answer. I have also the same question, what is the difference between keeping the box unchecked V.S. checked but on the UNLISTED. Thanks

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