I’ve done SEO for companies around the world, and there’s one little oddity of search here in New Zealand that I’ve just not found anywhere else.
Basically, if you don’t add ‘nz’ to the end of your searches you’re likely to get a string of results from abroad, in particular Australia. This seems to happen even for really location specific searches, like hardware stores and that kind of thing.
Living in New Zealand you probably don’t even notice it because you’ve never known any different, and it’s entirely possible you already add ‘nz’ to your searches without even thinking about it. But in every other country I’ve optimised for, results are always much more local without having to add a country name.
I can’t find a good technical reason for Google to behave this way. I can’t even think of one – we know their concept of ‘location’ includes a country field, and they definitely know we’re a country.
I’ve seen their map and we’re on it.
But nonetheless, this is something to take into account with your SEO for NZ sites. Be aware that not only do you need to do all the location work imaginable, but bear in mind many searchers already assume your site will be optimised for ‘nz’ as a key term.