SEO Tip #47: Why Doesn’t Webmaster Tools have Multiple-Country Targeting?

Matt Cutts: It’s a great question. I can see at least a couple possible answers to this. The answer that I would give you first and foremost is that I always worry whenever you give someone the option to say, “I’m relevant to country A, Country B, Country C, Country D,” all the way down to Country Z, that at some point they say, “You know what? Yeah, I’m relevant to all those countries. I’m relevant to Chad, I’m relevant to Chile. Show me for every single country.”

At least in the beginning, whether we were talking about having Meta Tags to tell what country you were relevant for or targeting something in Webmaster tools, I at least get a little worried that people would say, “Yes! Click every single check box.” Because even on the spam report form we sometimes see people say, “Yes, I’m going to click every single box – single text, sure; cloaking, why not; every single one.” And that’s not the highest quality of information that you can possibly get.

That’s one big reason we wanted to explore, see how it looked, see what the quality of the data looked like before we started to release the ability where someone could say, “I’m relevant in every country. Show me in Libya, show me in every country in the world.”

The other thing to bear in mind is that AdWords you’re paying for it. So a lot of the features that eventually sort of show up in Webmaster tools like delegation showed up a lot earlier in AdWords since you’re paying for AdWords people expect a higher quality of service.

It’s definitely a good feature request. If we could find a way to do it where it wouldn’t take up a ton of engineering resources, it would improve the quality of the index. If the engineers had the cycles to do it I would definitely support it. I’d just want to make sure that it wouldn’t result in some sort of spam.

It is a good feature request. We’ll put it on the queue and thanks for suggesting it.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.