It appears sometime around March 2012 the Google geo-targeting policy. I’m pretty sure (not 100% though) prior to March I was able to set http://stancarney.ca/ as ‘Unlisted’, meaning that it would not be geo-targeted in Google search results. After some more digging I found a help page explaining Google’s Geo-Targeting rules and confirmed it via my webmaster tools account. If you have a country specific TLD Google will not allow you to geo-target any search results besides the country of which the ccTLD is assigned. They have a list of generic country code top level domains that they deem to be exceptions and allow you to change the geo-targeted country.
I did manage to ‘play’ with the HTML and tried to get Google to accept ‘Unlisted’ to the point Google actually sent me an email, didn’t work though :).
A new geographic target has been set for http://stancarney.ca/. Previous target: - New target: - If you did not change this setting, check with other verified owners of this site. For more information, see the Webmaster Tools Help Center.
I picked .ca because I’m Canadian, not because I’m selling goods to Canadians. I’m not sure of the wisdom of Google’s decision due to the popularity of other gccTLD’s excluded by Google, .ly and .it for example. In reality a startup like http://highlig.ht wouldn’t use Google to market anyway. This change just cements that fact.
I guess I’m moving to https://stancarney.co/.