GEO-blocking, also known as geolocation blocking, IP-blocking or regional blocking, is a technique used by online services to restrict access to their content or services based on the geographical location of the user.

The process typically involves the following steps:

Geolocation Identification

When a user accesses a website or online service, the server attempts to determine the user’s geographical location.

This can be done through various methods such as IP address analysis, GPS data from mobile devices, Wi-Fi network identification, or information provided by the user’s internet service provider (ISP).

With the SEO-Safe App for Shopify this is done by IP.

Comparison with Allowed Regions

Once the user’s location is identified, the server compares it with a predefined list of allowed regions or countries where access to the content or service is permitted.

This list is often determined by the content provider or service operator based on licensing agreements, legal requirements, or business considerations.

In the settings of the SEO-Safe App for Shopify you can manage which countries to block.

Blocking or Allowing Access

If the user’s location matches one of the allowed regions, they are granted access to the content or service as usual.

However, if the user’s location is not on the allowed list, access is typically blocked, and the user may receive an error message informing them that the content is not available in their region.

Workarounds and Countermeasures

Users often try to bypass GEO-blocking using various methods such as virtual private networks (VPNs), proxy servers, or DNS services that mask their true geographical location.

In response, content providers may employ additional measures to detect and block such circumvention attempts, though these measures can sometimes lead to collateral damage by affecting legitimate users.

In summary

Overall, GEO-blocking is a strategy employed by content providers and online services to enforce regional restrictions on access to their content or services, often due to licensing agreements, regulatory requirements, or business considerations.