When launching a website, it is important to identify where your target audience is located and to ensure that you get found within that region. For example, if you were an e-commerce store in Australia where you only shipped goods locally and not internationally, your target customers would be Australians and hence why it is important for you to localise your website to the local search engines.
The reason for this is whenever a user types in Google.com or Yahoo.com into their browser, these search engines will redirect them to the localised search engines based on IP detection. This means that if you’re browsing from Australia and you type in Google.com, you will be redirected to Google.com.au and for Yahoo.com, au.Yahoo.com. Once you’re at these localised search engines, you have the option of choosing local search results only.
This means that if you are found on these localised search results, the organic traffic that you will be getting highly qualified. This is a win-win for both search engines and website owners as search engines are serving more relevant search results, thus better quality and website owners are receiving relevant localised traffic. It’s all about relevancy!
Now you know the importance of localisation (or geo-targeting), here’s some common factors that search engines look for and factors specific to the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo).
Normally the best practice for 301/302 (permanent/temporary) redirects are through your web server. However, you can only do this if you own your own domain. So what happens when you’re using a free webpage service such as Blogger, WordPress and Typepad, and you want to do 301 redirects to your new website?
Although not the best, your next best bet is using the meta refresh tag to do your redirections. It seems that Google recognises meta redirects and Googlebot should be able to crawl to the new page, according to Google’s Webmaster Help Center.
Yahoo’s Search Help also seems to recognise meta redirects and the crawler will be able to follow the redirects.
It appears that a meta refresh delay of 0 or 1 second will be considered as a 301 redirect and anything longer is considered a 302.