I read somewhere that if I’m using a host company with servers in the US it will adversley affect placement of my site in google.ca and especially “pages from Canada” results. I did a little research to see if this was the case and if I need to use a .ca domain to improve my SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for Canada, as I suspected, these issues were resolved when Google developed GEOTARGETING in WEBMASTER TOOLS.
In the past Google looked at a couple of indicators to determine what region a site would be most relevant for. These indicators were the top-level domain and server location. Country-specific domains (.ca) provided accurate geographic targeting but when using geographically neutral top level domains such as .com or .net Google would only be able to look at the second indicator, the server location. This was a problem as many sites may be hosted in a different country than where their business is located.
In response to these problems, Google has developed a Geotargeting tool so you can provide Google with information which will improve your site’s results for locally targetted searches. You simply log in to Google webmaster tools, verify your site and if you want to show well in google.ca set the geotarget to Canada. When someone searches in goggle.ca and selects “pages from Canada” your site will now be included in the Country-specific results.
You don’t want to use geographic targeting if you are trying to target a specific language not a country. If you want to attract a French speaking audience you don’t want to geotarget France or you will miss out on a French audience in Canada and other parts of the world. You can only use this feature for sites with a neutral top-level domain, such as .com or .org. Country-specific domains are already associated with a country or region.
Meta Tag: If geotargeting is important for your site you can add these meta tags to ensure all search engines target your site correctly. You can get your own meta tags Using the Geo Tag Generator
META NAME=”geo.position” CONTENT=”40;-102″
META NAME=”geo.country” CONTENT=”CA”
META NAME=”geo.region” CONTENT=”CA-ON”
META NAME=”geo.placename” CONTENT=”Toronto”
With Geotargeting available now in Webmaster tools it isn’t essential to use the .ca for geotargeting purposes but it is wise to secure both the .com and your country-specific domain. If you only take the .ca you will be sending a lot of traffic to the .com. It doesn’t seem to matter how much money you spend on advertising, the .com is what people will type. That said, you don’t want to just buy the .com and then have a competitor take your same domain name with the .ca! Domains are an inexpensive acquisition that can be of long-term value.
DOMAIN REGISTRATION: Register your .ca for $12.88 Lowest price in Canada! $18.88 for .com .