Google's John Mueller was asked about geotargeting, which means targeting a website (or section of a website) to a specific country. Geotargeting allows a marketer to segment their audience by country.
Country Code Top Level Domain (cc-TLD)
A country code top-level domain, commonly known as ccTLD is a domain name that is specific to a country. It's different from the more common generic top-level domains (gTLDs), domains that consist of, .com, .net and .org, plus others, that can be used in any country. A ccTLD is a domain that is specific to a country and tells users in that country that the website is specific to a country.
The person asking the question wanted to rank a site in a specific country. He used Germany as an example country in his question:
|"...regarding web hosting and domain registration. Suppose I want to launch a site in Germany... is it required that I get a dot DE domain registered in Germany and website hosted in Germany for SEO?"|
|"No, it's not required. In general, if you want to use geotargeting there, there are two ways to do that. One is to use the country level top-level domain, which would dot DE for Germany in that case. The other is to use a generic top-level domain and to use a geotargeting setting in search console. So that could be, for example, a dot Com website or dot Net or dot Info or dot EU or whatever. Any of those would also work, and then you just set geotargeting for Germany."|
|"The hosting location is also not required. That's something that way in the early days before we had the setting in Search Console, we used the hosting location as a way to guess which country the website might be targeting. But nowadays... I don't think that's used at all. And with a content delivery network if you have kind of a fancy international website, then the hosting location doesn't matter anyway because you always have some local presence automatically.|
"International Targeting Report: Use the International Targeting report to monitor your hreflang errors, or to choose a country that should be prioritized for your search results. This report has the following sections: |