I set the Web Genius email database a quick test the other day and I am pleased to report that 100% of respondents got the answer correct.
I'd like to think this reflected the intelligence of the average Web Genius list member, but the real reason is that there was no wrong answer :-)
The question I posed was: When performing a search on Google for New Zealand-based websites do you:
1. Usually include "New Zealand" in the search term, eg:
Or are you more likely to:
2. Click the "Pages from New Zealand" radio button underneath the search box? eg:
(For list members outside New Zealand I simply asked them to replace New Zealand with their own country when considering the question).
Of the 139 respondents, 66% (92) reported they tend to use the "Pages from New Zealand" radio button, while 34% (47) said they usually type "New Zealand" at the end of the search term.
What does this tell us about how to optimise web pages for search engine visibility?
Provided the results of this less than scientific survey can be trusted, it is really business as usual.
In other words significant numbers of searchers use each method, so search engine optimisation has to take account of both. In short, if your website is focused on a particular country, then combining your keywords phrases with the country name is an important keywording tactic.
Which of the two techniques is likely to produce the best results for searchers?
I would say clicking "Pages from New Zealand" because relying on each individual web page to identify itself through geographical keywords, is probably less reliable than getting Google to figure this out for us.
But as I said there is no right or wrong answer and maybe I am just trying justify the fact that I'm in the "Pages from New Zealand" camp :-)
What do you think? Go on, make a comment below. You know you want to :-)