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.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
I’ve got two questions. The first one is about our website not showing up for a branded keyword. So we’ve got two sites: one’s a global site, and one’s an Australia site.
And suddenly, the Australia site was ranking for our branded term for our number one position for good two, three months.
And suddenly, in the last week, it was replaced by the global website.com website for a couple of days. And just wanted to understand why that could be the case?
It’s hard to know, without looking at the sites, but I mean, if these are two sites that are essentially part of the same bigger group, it can happen that we switch between, like which one we would show for ranking like that.
With hreflang annotations, you can give us a little bit more information on how you want kind of like us to treat that pair of pages. So that can help a little bit, geo targeting can help a little bit.
But even then it can happen that we 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 one.
SEO Professional 5 24:28