Domains - Country TLDs & SERPS

Hi all,

I’m wanting to start a niche job portal for the UK. However down the line I want to start a US and European (Germany, Holland, Belgium) equivalent. I’ve registered the domains for all country TLDs (.com,, .de etc).

Ideally I want for each country to have its own specific website rather than going through the .com to get to or etc…

My question is, would separating sites out have a significant affect on the search engine ranking of each individual website vs if there was a collective .com portal? If so, how could this be mitigated?

Am I right in thinking that on, domains hosted in the UK rank higher than elsewhere? Or is this also affected by having a domain?

Thanks in advance!

The country where the website is hosted is just one of the many signals that Google uses when ranking a site. There are plenty of sites out there that are not hosted in their home country, such as international sites that are all on the same .com domain but then have subdomains or subfolders to give country-specific websites – these can be very successful in search engines.

I think it would be more accurate to say that Google tries to give results that are locally relevant. If you’ve got a .com site hosted on a US server but everything about the site refers to the UK, you spell colour and centre ‘correctly’ ( :stir: ), your prices are in £, most of your links are to/from other UK sites … Google is going to twig that that’s a UK site, not a US site, and will return it in the results accordingly. The hosting country can help it determine the relevant location, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Thanks Steve for the reply. I thought it would be more of a “its a general picture” rather than a “yes/no” response.

What are your views on the SERP impacts of having an interlinked network of websites vs one main website with many different sub domains? Would there be a noticeable impact?

I think that if you were to set up a controlled experiment where all other factors were equal, you might be able to see a difference between the two approaches.

In the real world, there are so many other factors that will affect where you rank relative to your competitors that I can’t see it making enough of a difference to be worth worrying about.

To put it another way … it is not in the interests of the general surfing public for a site to arbitrarily be given a higher or lower ranking just because it uses a single domain for all countries or vice versa … so Google will try to ensure that its algorithm treats both cases evenly.