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Does the WooCommerce function "Geolocate (with page caching support)" affect the Google ranking?

We’re using the WooCommerce feature “Geolocate (with page caching support)” to display the correct currencies and taxes for each user based on his country while we’re using a page cache plugin at the same time.
You can find a description how this function works and why it is necessary here:
https://woocommerce.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/making-geolocation-static-cache-friendly-in-2-4/

Our SEO agency now complains that the javascript based redirect after accessing the site is very bad for our Google ranking.
The v parameter itself is not the problem as we marked it as passive parameter in Google Webmastertools – but the high count of redirections on our website should have a negative influence on our Google ranking.

Is that true? If it is, is there any way to fix this issue without changing the whole behavior of our webshop?

Webmasters Asked by Gesh on January 7, 2021

2 Answers

2 Answers

Google actually likes it when you duplicate your content for this purpose. You can create several sites with the same basic content that differ between countries for currencies, taxes, shipping options, or language. Multiple duplicate sites can end up enjoying much better rankings in their individual countries than a single catch all website.

I'm also very leery of IP based identification. I've found that it is wrong often enough that it will cost you customers. Depending on the package you are using it may have error rates up to 10%. It is almost always better to identify that the user may be on the wrong page and use a prominent message to suggest that they move. It is a much more elegant way of handling it that won't turn away a large number of customers.

I've never seen Google rankings hurt because of redirects like your SEO agency is claiming. Rather than hurting your rankings, your approach is inhibiting bonus rankings you could be getting for your internationalization work.

Correct answer by Stephen Ostermiller on January 7, 2021

Think there's a misunderstanding: Woocommerce geolocate doesn't create duplicate content for other localities: it merely redirects to circumvent caching to accurately determine country accessing the URL.

Yes it is well known that Woocommerce geolocate both slows pages and conflicts with some plugins.

I've found no efficient workaround so have disabled geolocate on my site.

Answered by Mark on January 7, 2021

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