can search engine localisation be avoided?

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We have a big problem with the trend of the last years that search
engines like google make the search results dependent on physical
server location.

We provide (since 1996) a large international website dedicated to
astrology. The website and its free interactive services are available
in eight languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish,
Portuguese, Dutch and Danish).

The company who owns the site is located in Z=FCrich, Switzerland; the
server is also located there.

Since Google started considering physical location of the server, our
search engine rankings have gone to hell. We used to be page one with
essential keywords like 'astrology' or 'horoscope' (or German:
Astrologie, Horoskop).

The information and the services we provide are in no way dependent on
our actual business location; we oiperate worldwide and over 80% of
our revenue is earned outside Switzerland.

Now the results depend heavily on which google engine is used. (Switzerland) ranks us very well (USA) ranks us badly (Germany) ranks us badly (Austria) ranks us badly. (France) ranks us badly

In many countries, web users get automatically assigned to one of
these search engines, they do not chose them consciously. Most web
users in France end up by default at, most web users in
Germany end up at . We are nearly invisible to them in
Google, despite the fact that we are one of the leading high traffic
astrology sites. Of course, if one searches 'astro', we end up at
place 1 in all Google engines.

In the settings of the Google webmaster tools our site is not
associated with any specific target country.

Ideally, search engines should ignore our server location completely.
Also the client (browser) location should be ignored. Like with
wikipedia, it should not matter for the result ranking where the
server is or where the client is.

Does anyone have a similar problem, and does anyone know ways around
the location issue?

Re: can search engine localisation be avoided?

Gazing into my crystal ball I observed ""

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Google's webmaster tools does have that thing about Geolocation, and you
can make different parts of your site go to whatever location, so in
your case, even if the server is in France, but the page is in New York,
you could Geocode for United States.

Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: can search engine localisation be avoided?

Adrienne Boswell wrote:

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I have only seen the possibility to assign the whole site to a target
geolocation. not parts of a site.

But even if that is possible, two factors still create a problem:

a) our language navigation is (currently) not done via a URL path
element, but via a URL parameter like (lang=f or lang=e) which appears
somewhere among other URL parameters.

b) languages cannot simply be assigned to countries, and the Google
webmaster geolocation only allows countries.

For example, the english version of our site is not just for the US, but
also for the UK, Ireland, India,

The German version is not just for Germany (, but also for
Switzerland (, Austria (

The French version is for France, Belgium, Canada etc.

Spanish is not only for Spain, but most of South and Central America.

The mapping in the google webmaster tool falls short of its target, it
is not designed for languages.

Re: can search engine localisation be avoided?

On Jan 23, 5:39=A0pm, Alois Treindl
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Am not sure.. but is assigning geourl ( in meta tags
read by search engines? In that case you may have some help..

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