If Blocking a Country’s Traffic, Don’t Block Googlebot

Google’s John Mueller advises web site house owners to watch out to not block Googlebot in the event that they select to dam site visitors from a whole nation.

Mueller addressed this subject twice over the previous week. It got here up as soon as in the course of the Google Search Central search engine optimisation hangout on April 9, and likewise got here up in a Reddit thread.

During the Search Central hangout, a web site proprietor submitted a query asking Mueller about blocking a nation the place they’re receiving an abundance of bot site visitors.

Here is Mueller’s recommendation.

Google’s John Mueller on Blocking Traffic From An Entire Country

Site house owners can and do block particular person nations after they’re receiving problematic site visitors.

Living in Switzerland, Mueller isn’t personally keen on that concept, however he understands why folks do it:

“I’ve heard some people block individual countries because they see a lot of problematic traffic from individual countries. Personally I don’t really like that approach because Switzerland is one of those countries as well that people tend to say, “oh this is another European country, I will block it.”

So I don’t prefer it from a private viewpoint. But when you’re seeing vital points with site visitors from a person nation then possibly that is sensible.”

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From an search engine optimisation perspective, the important thing consideration right here is to not block Googlebot from crawling a web site.

Googlebot normally crawls websites from the US, so if a web site is obstructing site visitors from the US it’s probably going to trigger issues.

Site house owners can do a reverse DNS lookup to find out the place Googlebot is crawling their web site from. Mueller says it’s uncommon that Googlebot would crawl a web site from a number of places.

“From a search point of view we primarily crawl from the US. We don’t always crawl from the US, but we primarily do so. And essentially that means, if you need to block individual users and individual countries, then you need to make sure that you’re not blocking Googlebot, so you’re not blocking users in the US for example. So that’s kind of the search specific aspect I would watch out for there.

If you need to block individual countries, just make sure that’s not a country where Googlebot is crawling your site from. You can confirm Googlebot traffic with a reverse DNS lookup if you want to do that. But, essentially, for most websites we would crawl from the US. I think it’s very rare that we would crawl sites from other locations, and we generally don’t crawl sites from multiple locations.

So it’s not going to be the case that we would crawl from the US and from, I don’t know, Singapore or some random other country. We would generally pick one country to crawl this website from.”

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Ultimately it’s as much as web site house owners to resolve in the event that they need to block site visitors from a complete nation. Sites might clear up their points with problematic site visitors, however they might be blocking reputable customers on the identical time.

“So based on that, the important point for search is really that you’re not blocking users from the country where Googlebot is crawling from. If you’re blocking them from other countries that’s kind of up to you. It also means that you might be blocking legitimate users from those countries so I wouldn’t just randomly do that, but if you’re seeing significant issues that might be an approach.”

Hear Mueller’s full response within the video under:

Another Take on Blocking a Country’s Traffic

In the search engine optimisation area there’s an fascinating phenomenon the place a subject might not come up for months, after which it comes up a number of instances in a single week. This is one such subject.

On Reddit a web site proprietor posted a thread asking if they will cut back their rankings in a particular nation, and/or block site visitors from a particular nation.

The web site proprietor notes that they obtain a lot of hacking makes an attempt from a particular nation and so they need to put an finish to that downside.

Mueller’s recommendation is in keeping with the recommendation supplied in the course of the Search Central hangout.

“You can’t reduce your rankings in one country in Google. You could set geotargeting to a different country, but that’s not certain to reduce the rankings in Indonesia (and if it did, it would affect all other countries). The only thing I’m aware of which is kinda country-limiting is video structured data, which would affect how a page is shown in video search & the video universal results (assuming you have a video on the page).

Blocking all users in a specific country is doable provided you don’t block the country where Google is crawling your site from (I’m pretty certain we don’t crawl from Indonesia). It always feels like a bad move though – you might be blocking some unwanted users, but you’re also blocking people who might be relevant to your site. IMO if you’re worried about hackers from one country, you should fix the security issues, not try to block that country. It’s trivial for anyone that’s dedicated to circumvent a country-block.”

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Source: Reddit

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