Moving a Website

It's long been known that in order to rank in a country specific Google, such as Google New Zealand or Google UK, you need to have one of 2 things. Either have a domain name relating to that country (eg .nz or .uk) or have the website hosted in that country.

With this in mind, I have always made sure that when a new site is launched, it meets one of these criteria to be found in the appropriate country. But up until now, I haven't needed to move a website into the country-specific results - and I wasn't sure how long this took for Google to notice the change.

So having now moved the ragepank.com site from hosting in the USA to New Zealand, and also moving another .com site on New Zealand hosting to Australia, I was interested to see how Google responds.

The Results, 4 days in

I was impressed at how quickly Google reacted to ragepank.com - already the site is appearing in google.co.nz (NZ sites only) results. But what is interesting is that the pages aren't the ones I would expect.

I checked the rankings for "SEO Checklist" where I currently rank number 6 on google.com
SEO Checklist - Google Results


And now has a ranking of number 1 on google.co.nz
SEO Checklist - Google New Zealand Results



While it makes total sense that google.com picks up a PR6 page titled "SEO Checklist" for this query, I thought it a bit odd that google.co.nz picked up a PR5 page that only mentions "SEO Checklist" once. This same thing happens on several other searches, including the homepage not being found in a NZ search for "ragepank".

A quick look at cache dates confirms the obvious - google has not cached all pages since the server move. Those pages it has cached are now appearing in NZ results.

This isn't totally surprising, but I had always thought the country check was on a per-site basis. Based on what I have found, it now seems to be on a per page basis.

Is this significant?

Does this open up any opportunities? As someone who maintains several multi-language sites, I'm wondering at the possibility of having different parts of my site hosted in different countries. It's obvious that you can host a subdomain on a different server to your main site, but what about a subfolder? There may be some tricky apache config you can apply to achieve this result.
All speculation of course, but I might give it a try.

Related to this was an experiment a friend tried by hosting a .co.nz site in Australia. You would assume that this site could be found in both the google.co.nz searches and the google.com.au searches. After 6 months of testing this, the site was in google.co.nz only, and was not being found in google.com.au - So indicating a site (or with what I now know, a page) can only be found in one country-specific Google.

This knowledge is very important when you are trying to launch a service in specific countries, and especially when you are going for cheap .com domains and cheap US hosting. Anyone with a .com site hosted in America is not going to be found in a country specific search, so this is worth watching out for.
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Tags: redirectionseoredirection seo