Continuing with analysis of Google’s recent (February 2012) search quality updates, now referred to as Google Panda 3.3:
Refreshed per-URL country information. [Launch codename “longdew”, project codename “country-id data refresh”] We updated the country associations for URLs to use more recent data.
A translation from this French SEO Expert points out that Top Level Domains (TLD) are the best identifiers of the country that the content of a website is intended for. It would follow that Google would want to keep up with the most recent TLD data.
Having worked on sites that have targeted Japan and mainland China, I can attest to the fact that getting country-specific domain names isn’t always easy if your business is not based in those places. To those of use who got by targeting those countries without the advantage of the appropriate TLD, our work might have gotten harder. Probably, though, this is just a clean-up, rather than a tweak that puts more weight on those country-specific TLDs.
I am, in fact, set to relaunch one such site in the coming weeks. I’ll update the blog with any new information I gain. In the meantime, anyone in a similar situation who is having problems as a result of this update, please comment!
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