Domains to take you global

Think your business is ready for ‘satellite’ sites? It’s not that big an ask. CHRIS THOMAS

Chris Thomas

By Chris Thomas

If your business has a global presence, one of the biggest headaches is making sure your website shows up at the search engines in all the countries you operate in. To add to the complexity, it’s often helpful to be shown in the “local results” too!

So what factors do search engines like Google take into account when deciding whether to show a website or not?

Domain name extension

The biggest “give away” is the extension of your domain name. So, if you own – your website will show up in Britain for both “the web” and “pages from the UK”, no matter where your website is hosted.

However, your website won’t appear in Australia’s Google with the “pages from Australia” button ticked.

Server location

Google also looks at where your website is physically hosted. If your domain is hosted in Australia, it will appear in both “the web” and “pages from Australia” results, even though it doesn’t have a .au extension.

That’s why you’ll often see .coms, .orgs and .nets showing up in a localised search. However, you’ll NEVER see showing up with the “pages from Australia” button ticked.

What’s the best plan?

If you have lots of domains; i.e


…and you want them to appear locally in each country, then the best plan is to create different websites and host them in each country. You’ll need to ensure your content is not duplicated across all the domains, making sure that everything’s unique, otherwise Google might use its duplicate content filter to remove duplicated pages.

Obviously it’s quite onerous to create dozens of websites all filled with unique content – it’d be better if there was just one website that displayed in all your target countries wouldn’t it! So is there a way to do this?

The answer of course is “yes”.

Mirroring a website is perhaps the easiest, where you have a single .com domain – with a single associated website but it’s replicated and hosted locally in all your target nations.

The idea is to sync up the main site to your “satellite sites”, so that any updates you make to the main site are automatically mirrored to your local sites. Given that the cost of web hosting has become so cheap, it’s now become an option for small to medium-sized businesses to entertain the idea. All you need is a credit card for the hosting and an experienced developer for the set-up!


Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

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