One SEO professional asked John Mueller in a hangout about their global homepage – why something like this would get picked up, rather than the local homepage (which they are trying to get picked up by Google).
So they have two sites: one is a global site that’s not showing up for a branded keyword.
And the second is an Australian site.
Suddenly, the Australia site was ranking for their branded term for the number one position for a good two or three months. Then, in the last week, it was replaced by the global version of the site for a few days.
They were curious about why this would happen.
John explained that if these two sites are, essentially, part of the same larger group of sites, that it’s possible that Google will switch between either one that they will show for ranking.
With hreflang annotations, it’s possible to give Google a bit more information on how the SEO professional wants Google to treat that pair of pages.
So this can help a little bit.
Geo targeting also helps. But, even then, it’s possible that Google will show a global version of a page in a country where you actually also have a local version of the page, perhaps just because the global version is so much stronger than the local version.
This happens at approximately the 18:15 mark in the video.