Few years ago, everyone was racing to get to the top position in Google.com. Nowadays, International search is not so attractive compared to local search engines. Businesses create local specific domains, subdomains or subdirectories that cater to local market need. Real international business is those who have mastered or conquered both local and International organic search results in terms of SEO. The pressure to rank well and dominate each local result keeps getting higher from the perspective of online businesses.
When it comes local search results, locally registered business get the most benefit compared to those who have registered overseas in Google. If you notice from searching any local city terms added with your service search on Google local TLD, Google places balloon almost covers the entire top page pushing down most of organic search results to far below. Even you are proud to be in top 3 for one of the most competitive keywords in local search engine, it is not necessary that your website will be shown right after Google Ads below search box. Thus, you may not get good Click through rate from it.
Getting into Google Places is easy for those who have local business address. Thus, it is motivating the businesses to open a real office in local address to enable them listed on Google places. In my opinion, Google done a great job here which will reduce the spamming of top search results and cater better locally. The hard time for the International businesses where we need to have extra cost of running a retail or office in local to get listed on Google Places. When we spend more, we will have more targets and more resources to get more business locally. Another important factor covered here is looking from consumer point of view. Consumers will trust a company that have local address compared to those operating in overseas. The whole idea is combining both offline and online business to step into International market.
Personally, I would suggest getting a local top level domain (TLD) registered under the local business address and local company name before claiming it on Google Places. This will give path to easy search engine domination in local search engine with a little boost in SEO. Local domain already has an upper hand compared to general TLD in local organic search results. It is the only quick way to get into local business as you may reach top position to some of the most competing keywords with proper SEO compared to general TLD. Strongly suggested to use a local TLD domain to dominate any local online business.
The game for online business for International market has been changed and will keep changing quickly. Adapting to this rule will ensure that you are really on a positive path towards local or/and International business domination. Plus, now you have another branch office locally that have more human resources to contribute offline sales which can generate more income to your overall business profit. With Google local search engine, International business now have to move their ass to start offices in local cities in order to provide their service to local clients in each country. That is how an International business should work! Although, this may seem almost impossible for newcomers, but this will give clearer picture to focus on specific market (local) before jumping into big pool of International market. What is your opinion on this?