More about generic TLDs in (say) UK results

Some folks that I respect were giving me a bit of a hard time because they felt like I punted on this webmaster video:

So let me take another stab at the question, and tell me what you think. There’s a couple effects going on:
- first, we’ve been making changes that make it much more likely to see .coms in the UK. I’d say that’s 80-90% of the changes that people are seeing. Most of the generic TLDs (.com, .net, etc.) that are showing up now are .com sites like tescofinance.com and churchill.com that are relevant to the UK even though they don’t end in a .co.uk.
- I’ve been following some of the examples people have pointed out. I remember kiva.org in particular was mentioned and that probably is off-topic for the UK. I dug into that one, and it was an unrelated ranking experiment that was going on that we changed.

I’ve been trying to keep up with the examples that people have pointed out, and most of the examples that I’ve seen have fallen into one of those two categories. If people want to point out examples of off-topic .coms that I’ve missed, I’m happy to poke/prod the appropriate folks at Google though. Feel free to leave comments like “For the query [red widgets] on google.co.uk, redwidgets.com shouldn’t show up because they don’t really provide red widgets to the UK.” Then I’ll ask the appropriate team to check out the comments.

Update, May 31, 2010: In the last few weeks, engineers have launched more changes that should do better at returning (for example) UK websites for searches done in the UK. If you still see mismatches (e.g. searches in the UK returning sites from Australia or wherever), feel free to leave a comment with the search query and the mismatched domains that you see.

158 Responses to More about generic TLDs in (say) UK results (Leave a comment)

  1. Dan Goodwin

    Hi Matt

    I’m seeing “http://www.hollywoodbobbers.com/life_insurance.html” visible for “life insurance” in the UK. They have IP lookup which states “Our system automatically identified you as a non-resident of the USA. Unfortunately we don’t have relevant providers for your place of residence.” when you visit the site.

    Cheers
    Dan

  2. This makes sense. The domain name should not be the focus of the user. The results that are provided are what is key. I wouldn’t mind seeing a .co.uk result in the US if it was relevant to what i was searching for. Thanks.

    JW

  3. Thanks for the clarification.

    I would imagine a .com that is hosted in the UK SHOULD show up in .co.uk, right?
    (provided the content is UK focused)

  4. Thanks for the info matt. As a UK based .com site ourselves we have been listed in the UK listings for sometime but have noted other .com’s popping up increasingly so good to hear a simple explanation of what you are trying to achieve.

    Joe, UK

  5. I don’t think it is just a case of x.com isn’t relevant because they don’t ship to the UK, there are many more instances of x.com ships to the UK but why is an american based site ranking aboue UK provdiders with the same service/product? For example for the query tennis shoes the 4th result is http://www.tennis-warehouse.com, an american site, whether they ship to the uk or not is irrelivant, why would the ever be more relevant to me, searching from the UK, then http://www.sportdiscount.com who currently rank at #5 and are based in the UK.

  6. For the query “tennis courts for rent”, fccsingapore.com probably shouldn’t rank first because it’s in Singapore. Trovit.co.uk in second is fine, because at least it’s in the UK, but the rest of the sites are then based in the Dominican Republic, Chennai, Chicago, Spain, Memphis and Portland. It’s a bit unlikely that your average user is going to rent a tennis court from those sites :/

  7. The SERPs generally appear to be a lot cleaner in terms of showing results from the correct country. It’s a big step up from 3 – 4 weeks ago when we were getting tonnes of Australian sites in the UK results.

    I did a quick check on a number of problem terms and it all seems to be clean as a whistle.

  8. Vivek

    groceries.asda.com is a UK grocery website. Can you have the folks at Google check this one out?

  9. Hi Mat, Appreciate you taking the time to come back to this.
    I agree that some .com’s are appropriate, however sometimes there’s just plain odd things happening!
    For example – Google Maps – Searching for from Google.co.uk would presumably return restaurants around the southbank in london. However the map goes to australia (whereas the web results are UK based).
    Note if you search for “visas” in google.co.uk I actually quite like the way Google presents those results with UK, Oz and US relevant sites – so its working in some ways!
    Also I spotted under ADSL on google.co.uk there are two results from .fi and .edu that seem to have come after this change. Problem being those two results are over a Decade old and thus out of date technically!
    Rgs Rob

  10. aw rubbish. I forgot to close the link around “southbank restaurants” Can you fix? Sorry!

  11. One that we have been bandying about a lot as an example Matt is “tennis court for rent” See http://www.flickr.com/photos/rishil/3738685528/ Which ranks second locally – (one of my flickr experiments).

    Another related issue as Patrick Altoft keeps highlighting is the Maps issue http://www.malcolmcoles.co.uk/blog/usa-maps-uk-results/ Dave Naylor posted about this a while back http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/google-maps-wrong-again.html

  12. Matt, I can understand generic TLD sites appearing in search if they’re relevant to the UK, but why do country specific TLD sites appear in the UK SERPs? they are neither generic TLDs or relevant to the UK.

    Search for “dining out” and you’ll see .za and .nz in the top 5.

  13. Hi Matt,

    No specific example but adding country/language code within the url or code on a .com domain will help the engines also distinguish the country target/webmasters option also….assuming you have relevant content :-)

    Whats your thoughts….

  14. I don’t see what the fuss is about TLD’s? .COM is not shorthand for “USA”, it’s short for Commerce, or have I missed something big here. I realise .co.uk is for UK Commerce/Companies, but that’s not really the point. We had to use the .com version for our company name because all the .co.uk variants that made sense were taken. (Annoyingly by people who were doing *nothing* with them).

    Thanks for all your insight Matt

    Stu

  15. Has there been any real difference in results since the geo-location thing in webmaster tools gets used more these days? Could see some .coms etc starting to get into the UK results etc more because of that.

  16. Matt

    Here’s a quick example of what I’ve found is happening with none UK search results showing in google.co.uk.

    Take the search term acne treatments, you have the following non-uk sites on the first page:

    acnetohealth[dot]com, acneskinguide[dot]com, acnehelper[dot]com, acnecuresrevealed[dot]net, acne[dot]org, absoluteacneinfo[dot]com

    That’s 6 out of the first 10 results that are not even relevant to someone in the UK. This, in my opinion, should not be happening.

    Whenever I now use google, I am having to click, show UK only to get some relevant results

  17. The problem is that a lot of these sites are not relevant. For me, its not an issue with .com sites appearing, its foreign i.e. USA, AU and NZ sites appearing that are not able to serve the UK market. There have always been lots of .com sites that appear in UK listings – sites like Tesco.com were ranking prominently before the change a couple of months ago.

    For example, “family homes kent” is one that I have harped on about on our company blog a few times already. Whilst the map is correctly indicating that I am searching for some kind of family home in kent, the organic listings for these phrases are for the most part advertising homes in Kent, WA (I’m not so hot with USA Geography, but I am pretty sure that this isnt going to help a UK user).

    Another one is for “compact tractors”, where the number 10 result for deere.com are selling only in Australia and New Zealand.

    Another example “leather dining chairs”, spacify.com dont serve the UK market.

    Another example “Sell My car”, sellmycar.com are on page 1, but are asking for a zip code, suggesting to me that they are not serving the UK market. On the same search term, but on page 3, there is carsonlinefree.com, copartdirect.com & dalesautomart.com, none of which serve the UK market.

    If I am honest, things have improved a bit from a couple of months ago when we first started to observe this, particularly on page 1 – however there are lots of terms that I keep an eye on that have huge variances between their “pages from the UK” rankings and their “the web” rankings, where previously these wouldnt be more than a page, and when trawling through the pages in between, I am consistently finding websites that dont serve the UK market, and in my mind have no place being in the UK listings at the moment.

  18. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for looking a little deeper into the question, appreciated.

    As mentioned, the question was regarding non UK sites that are seen ranking in Google.co.uk. Actually it’s got a little better over the last month or so as results have fluctuated naturally, but I am still seeing non UK sites (not .coms specifically) still ranking way higher than they should do.

    Nobody would argue .coms that should rank in the UK when they are relevant to the UK audience like your examples in the video.

    I have already sent you the example of ‘flowers’, where on the 2nd page (and sometimes 1st page) we have 800florals.com and 1800flowers.com who both only deliver to the US/Canada. Not overly relevant to a UK audience..!

    A search for ‘dent removal’ used to have 3 US based companies ranking on the 1st page. Now they are just at the top of the 2nd page, so not quite on the 1st page but still.

    A search for ‘web hosting’ used to bring back a 50/50 mix of UK/US sites. Sure some of the UK market might want to buy from the US as it might be cheaper, but I don’t think this was a decision you made based on search data going by the above flowers example.

    The thing I find strange about this is that all the usual signs for these sites are that they are definitely not for the UK market. IE. they have a US IP, they have prices in dollars, they have addresses outside of the UK, phone numbers outside of the UK and all the other signals you normally use to detect geo relevance.

  19. Hi Matt. Would you say that country of hosting will have a bigger impact now? My first thought was that this update reads more ‘importance’ in the country of hosting and IP if more .com’s are ranking in the country specific Google results?

    Also for those who own .com and want to target UK don’t forget to specify your country of targeting in Webmaster Tools (sitemap) as it defaults to the US still I belive.

  20. I thought the video was fine as far as it went, but I do wish all of the major search engines would simply and prominently document their current procedures for determining geo-location so that webmasters would (a) be informed that it’s an issue they need to be aware of, and (b) have some reliable information on how it works. Google used to have documentation that laid things out as clearly as anyone could expect – (1) ccTLD, (2) IP Address of the host, and (3) domain name data. Now there are a couple of videos, but not much in the Help system refers to this in places where new webmasters would find it. For example, there’s nothing about it in “Google Basics”, and just an obscure reference to it in the *last* paragraph on the page for “My site isn’t doing well in search”, but there are details and no links to find them. I know things are fuzzier these days with the mix of signals that search engines use to boost relevance to individual users, but I think clearly laying down the foundation would be a great help.

  21. Nancy

    Firstly – I think it is good that you’re are addressed the issue. I’ve been monitoring the feedback on your Twitter and on YouTube. I know that you can’t give too much away but your video didn’t really answer the question at hand, IMHO.

    John M Weaver – I agree that a domain name should not be the main focus of whether or not a website appears to a particular audience – however when UK results (not just .co.uk tld extensions but results that had a .com hosted in the UK) are being replaced by low quality websites that offer little to a UK searcher – there is obviously something wrong. Of course there are examples of where it is relevant to have a non-UK hosted/TLD website – like if you were checking out a new game console spec for example – but you must be aware of all the problems arising.

    Take a look at this query:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=google+uk+serps&btnG=Google+Search&meta=lr%3D&aq=f&oq=

    You have one example of Google being ‘broken’:

    http://econsultancy.com/blog/4229-are-google-s-uk-search-results-broken

    One example of a Texas campsite website appearing in Google UK:

    http://www.ip-seo.com/latest/2009/08/google-uk-serps-changes-are-here-to-stay/

    One example of ‘web hosting’ companies that do not offer a service in the UK:

    http://www.ppcblog.co.uk/google/big-geo-problems-still-exist-in-google-uk-serps/

    Even some people suggesting the Vince update in the UK:

    http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/google-update-vince-hits-the-uk-shores.html

    You can obviously see that there is much concern in the UK for the legitimacy and integrity and the overall quality of the SERPs in the UK by these posts? People thinking the Geo filter is broken – something I doubt but it is clearly something you have altered so that these websites are now included.

    Another example is Ireel.com – I download a lot of movies and use terms such as ‘Movies Online’, ‘Watch Movies’ and ‘Free Movies’. I keep getting websites like http://www.ireel.com which aren’t accessible in the UK!!! There are loads of them now.

    What I think would be good is if you could answer the following questions, which I believe is a breakdown of the original question:

    1) Why are there now (not just .com) a whole range of TLD’s now appearing in Google UK, which don’t match the searchers query?

    2) Why has this change been made to reduce the impact of relevant UK based websites – simply because they are based in the UK (even if the tld is different)?

    3) Has this just been rolled out in the UK or elsewhere?

    Matt – thanks for your time and please, please give us some answers….

  22. Hi Matt

    First of all, thanks of taking time to respond to these questions. I will be straight up right away, I was one of those people giving you a “bit of a hard time” however I would add in the context of your answer I agreed with you, however in answer to the question originally posed it did seem very wide of the mark.

    In the UK, we have been increasingly surprised by the number of non-uk results, and whilst .com’s are forgivable (within reason), the visibility of ccTLD’s such as .com.au etc does suggest that something would appear to be flawed with the algorithm in terms of being able to deal with local targeting, in particular I would draw you to Shark SEO’s post here

    http://sharkseo.com/google/google-makes-me-a-sad-panda/

    In terms of your response above it would still therefore not answer the question posted originally by guavarian.

  23. sam

    Matt – i don’t think you have understood the question. We have 100,000s of sites in the UK that have .com TLDs. (such as Tesco – it is afterall a British company) – the problem is not having a particular tld in the Serps, the problem is having an offering from a site that doesn’t even focus on the UK, nor sells UK products (eg offering products in dollars – we use pound sterling here).

    If i did a search for Jackie Chan – i think it would be appropriate for .hk, .com, .us and .co.uk sites to be offered. But if i search for a local service and get a service in Texas i think that is inappropriate and has put google back 6 years.

  24. I find myself more and more adding “UK” to the end of the search query to see the results I want to see – driving me mad.

  25. Matt, here are some examples of irrelevant US maps for UK sites (one of these is for a .co.uk site):
    http://www.malcolmcoles.co.uk/blog/usa-maps-uk-results/

    And here is ONE UK site which has TWO maps – one in Italy, one in the USA:
    http://www.malcolmcoles.co.uk/blog/somerset-in-usa-italy/

  26. Hi Matt,

    Sorry for double post, but this one is really quite irrelevant for UK market:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?&q=university+admission – #4 Standford, #5 California, #7 Finland, #8 Princeton, #9 Standford, #10 Australian.

    (The plural is better, slightly)

  27. Hi, Forgive me if I’d being dumb here, but as far as I’m aware, the .com TLD doesn’t mean ‘international’ or ‘USA’ but ‘for a commercial website’… kind of makes the objections to Google listing .com results in Google.co.uk (or anywhere else for that matter) irrelevant as long as the company using the .com domain are a commercial website representing country specific interests! Matt, I’d totally agree with your stance and hope it never changes… I like .com’s as I can register for 10 years and forget about it!

  28. Richard Vaughan

    I don’t think the issue is .coms appearing in the UK serps so much. A .com can afterall satisfy the requirements of the local searcher if it is targetted to them. However there are many instances where the localised search just seems to inject less relevant US biased sites into the serps for no relevant reason it seems.

    An example I saw myself was “Diamonds Online” showing quite a few US based sites in the top 10 in the UK serps:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=diamonds+online

    http://www.diamondsonweb.com/
    http://www.original-diamonds.com/delivery_trade_up.php
    http://www.idexonline.com/
    http://www.usadiamonds.net/

    I’m not sure how relevant these sites are for people living in the UK and I’m not sure how relevant UK searchers are to these US sites either.

  29. Dan Goodwin

    Hi Matt

    Is it possible to get http://www.hollywoodbobbers.com/life_insurance.html removed from the UK “Life Insurance” SERP. It states it doesn’t serve UK consumers.

    Thanks

  30. Off of the top of my head but could come back with a lot more,

    Search on google.co.uk for [conference lanyards] shows http://www.freshpromotions.com.au/lanyards/conference-lanyards.html (3) and http://www.lanyardsandmore.com.au (5) both based Australian based sites.

    Search on Google.co.uk for fibre optic cable] shows http://www.seacom.mu (9) and african / asia company and http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/688992 (14) uganda news.

    Looks like it’s not determining what is a “UK” based .com but strangle showing .mu and .au domains.

  31. What reason did they give for you punting the question ? perfectly valid answer

    sounds like some daily mail readers have been getting upset – everyone who works in the internet biz should know the diference betweek country and generic domains.

  32. Maurice – there are two issues:
    1) People searching for things like DVDs or tennis court hires or flowers being shown American websites that don’t ship to the UK (unless they want their flowers flown by air …). This is not a good experience – it’s not parochialism that’s the issue, it’s relevance.
    2) Google’s in-results map feature is showing wildly inaccurate results. My comment with 2 links to the issue is awaiting moderation, but the issue is that it is showing UK-based companies as being based in other countries.

  33. Antony

    Hi Matt,
    I am genuinely concerned with the results in the UK, as a visitor, the results I see are very poor and also extremely frustrating. The fact have have stayed using Google since this began in late May is a testimonial to my previous faith in Google.

    As an example that literally took 30 seconds to find:
    Search “ford focus” in Google.co.uk, starts off well with the official site, then wikipedia, send wikipedia is the US version (not as good). Further down the first page you start getting US sites advertising “Ford Sedans”. Sorry Matt but UK browsers are not looking for american cars.

    A second example:
    “skoda octavia vs honda civic”, first website is an Indian website, while this may still be “on topic” the differences between countries for Car models can be substantial. Then you have Yahoo India and even broadbandforum.in (india again).

    This really is only seconds of searching to find these results and it does appear to be indicative of the general search results and I can provide many more examples.

    For another search term I have actually been watching since May, there were 14 million results. In June this went up to 30 million results and now in August there are 42 million results. Many of these are from the US, India and other countries, ironically the search suggest still says 14.2 million. where have these extra 30 million results come from, surely they cannot be all UK sites that were not there earlier?

  34. Thanks Matt. It’s nice to know the specific algo tweek and it’s intentions. There are quite a few examples on the econsultancy.com site under their “Are Google’s results broken” blog post.

    I’m going to requote our own Guavarian here with an example – “A couple of good examples I have already discussed were results for ‘web hosting’ and ‘flowers’. For example, 1800flowers.com and 800florals.com are both US sites ranking on the 2nd page currently, although I have seen them fluctuate onto the 1st page. Neither of these sites even deliver outside of the US/Canada.”

  35. @mourice re: “sounds like some daily mail readers have been getting upset – everyone who works in the internet biz should know the diference betweek country and generic domains.”

    You serious or just trolling? We are in the SEO biz – we know the difference. Question was either misunderstood or we felt answer doesnt cover it. I dont care about TLDs – and infact we have seen obviously geo targetted US results still appearing for UK searches.

  36. Matt, I think you’ve misinterpreted the question slightly. The problem Rishi and others were annoyed about wasn’t regarding .com sites showing in UK SERPs, no savvy person would expect .co.uk sites to always rank above a .com. The question was why are American and Australian sites (even sites hosted in those countries) ranking in Google.co.uk. 2 very different things.

    It’s a bit late in the game now as most of the really bad results seem to have disappeared. One example I seem to remember seeing was http://gasbuddy.com/ ranking no.1 for gas in the UK when it has no relevance at all to someone searching in the UK.

  37. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for looking a little deeper into the question, appreciated.

    As mentioned, the question was regarding non UK sites that are seen ranking in Google.co.uk. Actually it’s got a little better over the last month or so as results have fluctuated naturally, but I am still seeing non UK sites (not .coms specifically) still ranking way higher than they should do.

    Nobody would argue .coms that should rank in the UK when they are relevant to the UK audience like your examples in the video.

    I have already sent you the example of ‘flowers’, where on the 2nd page (and sometimes 1st page) we have 800florals.com and 1800flowers.com who both only deliver to the US/Canada. Not overly relevant to a UK audience..!

    A search for ‘dent removal’ used to have 3 US based companies ranking on the 1st page. Now they are just at the top of the 2nd page, so not quite on the 1st page but still.

    A search for ‘web hosting’ used to bring back a 50/50 mix of UK/US sites. Sure some of the UK market might want to buy from the US as it might be cheaper, but I don’t think this was a decision you made based on search data going by the above flowers example.

    The thing I find strange about this is that all the usual signals you use to identify sites are all correct – that they are definitely not for the UK market. IE. they have a US IP, they have prices in dollars, they have addresses outside of the UK, phone numbers outside of the UK and all the other signals you normally use to detect geo relevance.

  38. Well, try the following queries where country specific information is necessary:

    Engineering jobs – 10th result comes from Australia
    Home loans – 9th result is from the US government, 10th result is from the US Department of Veteran Affairs
    Cinema times – 10th result is from Australia again
    Bus information – 9th result from… Australia

    This is just a small selection of what I’m seeing in my industry. Usually, the more niche the query the more foreign domains creep in. I agree in that I’m seeing far more US/AU/NZ domains than ever before. These are all irrelevant.

    If this is an approach by Google to make the UK market use the UK Only radio button more, then that’s fine, since filtering foreign domains is what that’s for and many users are just lazy, but it would be nice if Google were up-front about it.

  39. Thanks for coming back to the question again Matt – “Local restaurant” gives 3 UK results at the top, which is good. But then it gives a restaurant in Montreal, Maryland, Dallas, LA, Turkey and then a random American blog.

  40. Can I just point out:

    Bing – “bus information” – no foreign domains (until page 2)
    Bing – “cinema times” – US result in top 5
    Bing – “Home loans” – Awful!!!!!
    Bing – “engineering jobs” – top result US

    So Google aren’t alone in getting it wrong, but they do better than Bing overall.

  41. Ha! Dutch language and Thai results.

    Broken.

  42. Hi,

    Firstly, thanks for the video about the Rich Snippets, its really appreciated.
    I was just doing some random search while I came across something really interesting (and really weird). Searching for [send flowers worcester] on Google.co.uk brings up some of the results for Worcestor, MA. A few months ago, it worked perfectly because Google assumed user was concerned with the Worcestor in the UK but now you see locateaflowershop and 1stinflowers a few more.

  43. sam

    Broken. I agree.

    Will it ever be fixed? Who knows. I mean the UK is the second biggest market for Google, you’d have thought it would be.

  44. Randip Dhesi

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for addressing this again.

    For the query “life insurance”, I am seeing http://www.newyorklife.com on the first page – policies are for U.S. residents only!

  45. Thanks for opening this up. I think providing examples may be easier than trying to explain the problem – it’s not about .coms appearing in the results.

    * family homes kent produces US results in #1, #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #8 and #9 (sites like AmericanHomeGuides.com)

    * buy guitar pedals produces non UK results in #1, #3, #6, #9 and #10 (with some suspect sites in between)

    * fence post produces non UK results in #1, #7 and #9

    * pet surgey has non UK results in #2, #3 and #8

    * where to invest manages to rank a .co.nz site at #6 and Yahoo India at #7.

    I’m trying not to include general information sites in the list of “awkward geographical matches” here as I don’t think that’s a real concern (unless it’s a howler like a .co.nz, etc) but focus on ecommerce or local sites.

  46. It has always been my belief that Google should use other factors to determine the region that a site is most relevant to. Why are TLDs such a big factor in the rankings anyway? I see so many people snap up .com keyword domains only to host a rubbish affiliate based site that seems to rank exceptionally well – doesn’t seem right to me!

    So I would argue this is more about geolocation but the weighting in general. Sooner or later the TLD registration will begin and Google will have to weight it less as people get used to a “.anything” age. Of course those that own a lot of domains will oppose this at every turn lest they have to actually build a good site rather than just rely on the .com weighting. The sooner Google gets better at ranking sites on how good they are rather than their name, the better in my opinion.

  47. Are we talking about searches on google.co.uk with ‘sites from UK’ selected or ‘all the web’? Sometimes it is best to let the person doing the searching decide and not the webmasters that just want their sites higher than the competition (me being one of them, but trying to be practical here).

    We have same problem on google.ie in Ireland especially in topics where most of the Irish businesses have not learned the advantage of having a good site that ranks well. US and UK sites and others with more ‘aggressive’ SEO dominate those SERPs.

  48. John

    Thanks for the update, very admirable. That is all, feel free to delete this as it adds nothing to the conversation.

  49. I’m all in favour of more diverse but relevant *search* results. Results should be relevant to the topic at hand in the UK. If that involves a source outside the UK then it’s all good.

    However, something needs to be done to reverse the trend of more US companies that ship overseas showing up in UK *Shopping* results. It’s annoying, mostly because it costs a mint to import stuff from the USA so it’s not viable to buy from them, ergo it’s not relevant to me, I want a UK or EU seller. On the flipside, I get US results which tempt me with low prices (expressed in GBP not USD so it’s even further obfuscated) but I never get any results from elsewhere in the EU or Far East, which in a lot of cases DO have the stuff I’m looking for at a good price. So you have a disparity here, Google Shopping is kinda broken, because it’s not giving me all the options I want, and it’s giving me options I don’t want. Will adding more content generally from other TLDs make this worse?

  50. Guillaume Voyer

    You should normalize the audio of your video because the volume of you videos is really low compared to other videos found on the net.

  51. Udo S.

    Would this be similar for .ch, .de, .at, .li and .lu domains? At the end it’s all about content, correct?

  52. What about sites which aren’t selling anything at all, just providing information? I know in some sense these should be .info’s, but we all know that in practice “.info” means “absolute bottom of the barrel cheap spam”. Realistically, a private individual who wants to share articles with the entire English-reading world, is going to choose .com. For example, I sure hope my self-development articles don’t suffer in the UK/Australia/India just because I’m a .com!

  53. Makes a ton of sense. I just think people get caught up in the little tricks like having a .co.uk domain versus a .com to improve their rankings, when in reality it is probably better to just be more relevant.

  54. Mark

    This is one bizarre post and embarrassing on Google’s part.

  55. As a few have pointed out in the comments, the question is relating to the fact that around the 24th of June 2009, the UK SERPs were – for a lack of a better word – internationalised. That is more sites are coming up using google.co.uk that are not UK-based. To an extent fair enough, maybe sometimes there is reason to have a few US, Australian, South African, Canadian and even non-English sites coming up for queries.

    Take for example a query for [organic seo] – all the results coming up there are non-UK whereas before it was a mix. This is a bit of an ambiguous query. What is someone searching for [organic seo] looking for? Info? Services? Tools? So maybe in this case the results can be interpreted as trying to provide a broad selection of web pages.

    But then there are some of the more specific terms mentioned above that when people type in they are almost definitely going to want as UK result, there are still international results.

    By and large it is more generic terms like [seo], [web design], [web hosting] etc. that have been internationalised.

    One other thing that I have notticed recently as it seems quite a lot of sites have been assigned to the wrong country. For example, Search Engine Watch is coming up as a UK site:

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=search+engine+watch&meta=cr%3DcountryUK|countryGB&fp=f8018b3e94e32b3b

    and also has pages which have been assigned to France.

  56. Well done Google! You show us even the mightiest of mighty can sometimes make mistakes.

    Clearly from these comments a lot more work / testing needed to be done before the update was rolled out.

    Hopefully these get addressed before any more updates get rolled out to other countries. ( I’m from Australia and have yet to notice this effect )

    Matt, I would like to see a video response to your webmaster video once this bug has been fixed.

  57. sam dave and others sheesh
    I was responding to matts comments “Some folks that I respect “.

    I thinks matts respose to the question was ok, it wasnt “why are we seeing non apropraite sites in .co.uk – and some of the examples are slightly forced “tenis court hire” not exactly a comon search terms. and “enginnering jobs” why would you not possibly want to see positions in other country’s

    And Dave obscure Vdub parts maybe isnt the best example i am not seeing Audi dealers in the states who are based in the counties/towns with the same name as the ones I optimse if fact theres proably some poor sod in New Jersy complaining about thease dam lime’ys

    I havnt seen anything to strange in any of our results

    guys if your going to game the system to get a question asked at last get the wording right

    I agree about the maps thing – was in black pool for a meeting in june and the imperial hotel was marked as being next to black pool tower! a long walk away :-)

  58. Jez

    Hi Matt,

    I believe Google have a higher market share in the UK than they do in the US. The reason for that is often cited as being Google’s superior localised results.

    What you say sounds all well and good in principle, but the reality is your localised results are not as good as they were. There are a lot of foreign sites coming up in listings that are not really relevant, like “buy rc cars” returns this US based site:

    http://www.funtoysite.com/

    Now, give it has $$ currency on that site, I would have thought it would be an easy one to sort, particularly combined with the “buy” keyword. I know this is a trivial example, and, to be fair it was only #6, and the top results were all UK, but the crux of it is localised search is not as good as it was. I think Google have taken a step backwards on this… though it is not the end of the world :-D

  59. For what it’s worth, I’ve long considered that the most important factor in determining home country of a web site is not the domain name (how many companies are using .to or .cc etc), or where the hosting is (many put their servers offshore where it’s cheaper), but the country of the registrant of the domain. It’s unclear to me if any of the major search engines look at this.

  60. IMO, the question should be; Why wouldn’t ANY SE rank .com, .net etc high in ANY Country specific SERPs if they meet the criteria?

    WTF, has the TLD to do with anything in regards to ranking PAGES?

  61. Daniel Zilli

    First, thanks Matt for your inputs.

    Now, I truly agree with @Richard L. Trethewey. More documentation would be really helpful for everyone.

    Ps: I don’t see problems, I see here a opportunity for Google to improve even more your services.

    Best,
    Daniel

  62. McMohan

    Glad that you brought this up Matt. Funny, the same site mentioned by the very first commenter was ranking in the first page for Life Insurance on Google India too until yesterday. Even on Google India too, lately I have been seeing many sites that have nothing to do with the Indian audience. It was a lot better about say 2-3 months ago.

  63. lets two sites one is .com and another is .co.uk are equal relevant to the united kingdom. Is the .com domain will got higher rank than its co.uk domain. If this is happening, Don’t you think google ranking technology is going against popularity. Since co.uk is most popular domain in uk as far as i know.

  64. the video makes sence to me… it is not about seing domains like .co.uk in serps, its more about information in general sence Google shows. So basically it doesn’t really matter what domain name the site has, what is more important is that the information it brings to the british user is highly relevant.

    thanks!

  65. Thanks for clarifying that Matt, it’s subject that’s been argued over in the UK business forums over the last few months. Hopefully cleared up now.

    Regards

    Rich

  66. By the way, how much quality assurance testing on its own product has Google just received for free through this post?

  67. @ Maurice – Why do you think ANY query is not a common search?
    The fact is, we werent asking about tld’s at all. We want to know how come sites that do absolutely NOTHING to target UK, end up beating sites that spend all their time and effort to rank JUST in UK.

    The point is that we feel there is something broken somewhere – and its these niche terms that reveal the issue. We arent complaining because we are “gaming the system” but because even SEOs need a place to search for their syuff. Dave’s VW examp[le is because he is into campers. The Tennis courts for hire came up from another SEO who is into tennis etc etc.

    SO we are kicking up a fuss because we use google daily for personal reasons, but unlike ordinary users, we know HOW to make inefficient search results noticed by G.

  68. With all due respect, you have missed the point. The problem is US based companies showing up in the UK search results forcing us to tick the UK box that sits under the area where you type in the search term. This will cause you long term problems especially with the introduction of Bing, because as Google keeps saying you are trying to serve the results that people want; you are not doing this right now.

    Did you know, if a UK citizen buys lets say a cruise from a US based travel agent, they have no protection if that travel agent goes bust. The only way they can be protected is by buying from a UK travel agent who is ABTA registered. For many cruise search terms there are US based companies within the top 20 and for some yet to be explained reason by the cruise lines, they are able to sell cruises cheaper than the UK market. So what does an individual do? They buy from the US based company not realising that should something happen they could be left out in the cold.

    The UK search terms should be proliferated with UK companies, whether .com or .co.uk, before your updates there were many .com’s ranking high, there was not a problem with the results, I know this as I was one of them.

  69. Exactly, it’s websites that do not themselves even want to target the UK.

    As I mentioned when you analyse the sites a little deeper aswell, there are no signals that suggest a site like 800florals.com is a UK relevant site. It’s IP is in the US, it’s registered in the US, it’s prices are in dollars, it’s address is in the US, it’s phone number is in the US etc.

    Most of the examples above are for niche, specific or less competitive queries. But this is a pretty good example of a generic and competitive query where a non UK site is still outranking many good UK sites.

    So why since the 3rd/4th of June is Google now ranking these sites in the UK all of a sudden? What changed…

    Matt you mention making changes to see more .coms which is interesting (so there was a previous dampening factor of somekind? ;-)) and treating UK relevant .coms equal to .co.uk’s makes sense. For certain informational/other queries it makes sense to mix in more internationalised results to. Quite often it makes sense for some sites to be truely global as their content is just that.

    But mixing in internationalised results against queries like those highlighted above is a big problem because the SERPS are as bad as I have seen them in Google.co.uk for a very long time.

    The changes you have made to .coms, .nets etc also doesn’t explain why other non UK regional ccTLDs are also ranking (it’s not just non country specific TLDs).

    The only thing I can see in common for a lot of these sites is authority/links. The continual stuggle of authority Vs relevance seems to be overriding geo filters now with whatever algo tweak went on.

  70. I’ve just noticed a by-product of this other-than-.co.uk domain promotion. There are a number of sites out there that generate content automatically on a number of different TLDs. These pages have the same titles and descriptions, and yet they appear alongside each other. Example:

    Latest fpga jobs – Indeed.com (US) and Indee.co.in (Indian) appearing on page 1
    Senior project manager jobs – Job is Job UK appearing on page 2 but also their US domain – same title and description.
    “The Brethren” – Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com results.

    This is just daft. How can anyone at Google say that this is an acceptable results array behaviour?

  71. Completely agree with Rishil. In my testing it’s the more niche queries which are really being hit hard, and as we all know from long-tail theory its these niche queries which are going to gain exposure over time.

    Wasn’t it search engines generally returning results like these and Google being far more specifc and targeted which caused the large migration to Google in the first place? This is a step back in time to 2004 or earlier as far as I’m concerned.

  72. It’s not quiet the same in the French SERPS but much better because we have the French language to filter out the rest of the world. We only have problems with finding too much Canadian stuff with expensive delivery costs :o

    Don’t forget Google is in fact also a domain name registrar! They can not only look at the GEOLocation of the IP address of the server, but also at the domain ownership records.

    Matt previously mentioned on another video that website speeds will/may start to play a role in SERPS, surley this could also be correlated with the servers IP address, less hops between the searcher and the websites server = faster response = better experience for the surfer!

  73. The fact is, we werent asking about tld’s at all

    No, but Matt (always the Politician) twisted the question to suit his answer. :)

    I’ve never read a *direct answer* to a question, *as asked*, by Matt to this day. Which is why, IMO, Matt should NEVER blog about anything SEO, or Google search. His “answers” always raise more questions than they answer and cause mass confusion.

  74. Mark

    Hi Matt,

    I can see that results are improving slowly (to my mind at any rate), but I don’t things are yet at the stage where you should be looking at the odd web site.

    Take the term “equipment leasing” (without the quotes) for example… The 1st page results are not as bad as they were but I can tell you that….

    On the 1st 3 pages there are

    01) at least 10 american companies trading in only in the US
    02) a US leasing association
    03) google news US and Canada (bottom of 1st page)
    04) a MFA site that talks in USD and points to US sites & no method of contact
    05) a google returned book about US equipment leasing
    06) It doesn’t improve that much as you page further into the results

    I think, although you may not, that upto 50% of the results on the 1st 3 pages are not relevant to the UK.

    Hope this helps….

  75. While some here consider these terms to be “niche”, many are not, and surely “niche” terms deserve as good quality results as others?

    If you search for the title of a popular book, the chances are now that as Nate mentioned, you will see not only amazon.co.uk but also amazon.com, for example:

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=hp&q=Wizard%27s+First+Rule&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&fp=458d05167c37f829
    and
    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=buy+harry+potter+and+the+goblet+of+fire+novel&meta=&fp=458d05167c37f829

    While the first book has been written by an American, the second hasn’t, and not only does it have amazon.com in there twice!, but also other American sites like:

    no.8 http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com (US and Canada site)
    no.10 http://www.librarything.com (US site)

    In my mind someone looking to “buy” a book in the UK would prefer to buy the book from a UK store.

    I could do this for just about any book I can think of, how about:

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&ei=G3GOSrr6EY7E-Qbx8ZDzDQ&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=buy+the+spook%27s+apprentice&spell=1&fp=458d05167c37f829

    Again amazon.com on the first page, page 2 even has:

    http://www.getprice.com.au (australian)
    http://www.mightyape.co.nz (New Zealand)
    http://www.torrentroom.com (Torrent site full of Adware, Crashed my firefox out too!)
    http://www.hsx.com (US site)
    http://www.moviefone.com (US site)

    Why would someone who wants to by an english book by an english author want to see these not UK sites!

    Sorry Matt but this really is endemic to Google.co.uk and not just the odd few “niche” search results.

  76. This is very true, I have noticed .com sites ranking well in UK search results, thanks for answering this question…

  77. A more interesting point, and one I haven’t seen made yet, isn’t so much the fact that international results are appearing when using google.co.uk, but the fact we are getting international results when using the “pages from the UK” option.

  78. Google Uk results do leave a lot to be desired, and considering the importance of this market to Google they should try and improve them.

  79. I’m in Canada and often see .UK results for google.com – I’ll get some real examples and post screen shots.

  80. Pooja K

    Hi Matt, thanx for taking the time to address this. Hope you’ve skimmed thru’ the above comments. The common thread is – the google.co.uk SERPs ARE broke for past one month – which is an age in internet era. If Bing has grown during this same period, you’d know who to blame. I hope you now know, that the .com’s you’ve given top ranks are not relevant to UK – the algo thingy needs to be restored as it was a month back.
    One more thing, it’d be naive for Google to expect so many people to come and report these issues on and on, for an algo gone wrong on your own employees part. The search world is changing fast, newer SEs are on the doorstep – get it moving!

  81. TLD does n’t matter. The result and information should be relevant and up to user.

  82. Our (more UK based than anything) scrapbooking .com has gone up in the rankings. Always nice to have good news :)

  83. Dave (Original) – then why have you posted on pretty much every post on this blog as long as I’ve been reading it, if you find it so unhelpful?! :P

  84. I’d like to turn this on its head, and moan about the reverse problem!

    We are a UK based car news site, and until recently we ranked pretty well in US searches. But that’s changed a lot of late. One story we ran – which was an exclusive – related to the Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, and we rank #1in the UK and did until recently in the US. I understand that results need to be relevant, but when scraper sites and re-publishers – not to mention sites linking back to us as the source – all rank way above us, something is not right? And that’s not just on the US Google.com but also on the UK Google.com.

    Odd, or are Google now excluding UK based sites even if the subject is entirely on-subject?

  85. Dave (Original) – then why have you posted on pretty much every post on this blog as long as I’ve been reading it, if you find it so unhelpful?!

    That’s a hell of a question, actually. I’m sure it’s also one that will surely be answered in a calm, cool, rational, intelligent manner from the intended respondent (yeah, right!)

    Get yourself a bag of popcorn, people. The circus is about to start!

  86. OK I am an idiot, please someone show me where the question was answered in the video, post or comments? Simply “saying we show the .com because we feel they are relevant” is not an answer.

  87. I am a bit confused here.
    I think, as some one else has said before. .com is simply commercial. Whats with all the focus on country specific TLD’s?

    Applying this logic, you suddenly have TLD’s of that country taking top spots and even though i own a .com and serve the same market, i won’t show up?

    Please clarify the point.

  88. it think it is right, for example in google.com.ua (ukraine) almost no .com domains, only.ua, and we had a lot of problems with targeting .com to ukraine, i think if it is business in this country they should use coundtry tld, but if this web site for all countries, and provides services for example in US and UK.

    But why there is in google.com some web sites in top with domains like co.uk and co.au?

  89. I think the problem affects us, the other way around.

    We have a .COM that targets the English speaking world. Hosting in UK, we accept dollars, sterling, euros. Till recently we typically returned on first page in google.com for relevant results. With some hard work we are occasionally back there, but we still rank very well in google.co.uk for those same results. Given the business we are in is largely uncaring of geography it seems odd.

    I think we’ve been geo-targeted inappropriately. It is hard to say, and I don’t want to risk the UK ranking too much, but the steady feed of US customers basically disappeared overnight.

    Received lots of advice to start another website for each country, which is easy to say, but a pain to actually do and promote them appropriately.

    I’ve always suspected Google places too much emphasis on domain names. Always thought it odd that “.uk”‘s can’t geotarget at all. Basically forces folks to buy a “.com” (or other generic TLD) if they want business elsewhere.

    Perhaps there is mark-up needed to say what currencies, and what payment methods people will take. As these are probably good indicators of geo-targeting, and well as useful things to have in ecommerce sites for indexing. Would folks lie about this? Would it help them if they did?

  90. Dave (Original) – then why have you posted on pretty much every post on this blog as long as I’ve been reading it, if you find it so unhelpful?!

    The non SEO posts are helpful/interesting. I live in hope that Matt will see the light. There is a disproportional amount of arse-kissers. I like reading fiction & adding common sense. I also read comics in the newspaper. I point out the woods through the trees. Someone here has to call a spade a spade. I care about propaganda. Matt’s disclaimer contradicts all his Google posts.

    BUT, above it all, SOME people believe anything they read ;)

    The circus is about to start!It started loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong ago, I’m just the ringmaster and you the clown.

  91. So as not to confuse the clown :)

    The circus is about to start!

    It started loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong ago, I’m just the ringmaster and you the clown.

    On the other hand, a clown could not single handley turn, what was a thriving SEO Forum (IHY), into a virtual Ghost town within 1 Year of being made a Moderator. Perhaps you’re the clown from Stephen King’s “IT”?

  92. Jaan, careful, your thinking on your own and stating common sense.

  93. On the subject of the post, it’s not the answer I don’t understand…it’s the basis of the question. In the case of google.ca, seeing a .com, a .co.uk, a .co.in, a .co.jp wouldn’t bother me in the slightest as long as I got what I was looking for…nor should it really bother anyone else. What difference does it make where the site is from as long as we get what we want out of it?

    Now, if someone isn’t finding what they want and claiming a SERP is irrelevant (usual translation: webmasters can’t find their pages on the first SERP so the .coms automatically have to fall off and die), that’s a different animal, but I don’t see how this is the case other than the obvious. I personally haven’t seen a thing in that regard.

  94. Eran

    Hi Matt,

    I love your site and videos. Great information and guidance.

    On a site note, I wanted to mention that I find a resemblance between your voice and that of the late Jim Henson. For a moment there, I closed my eyes and could actually hear you do Kermit. Please don’t take offense. I just thought it was amusing. Maybe you can host Kermit and sprinkle Google wisdom from his mouth?

    Have a great week. Thanks for all that you’re doing on your important website.

    Eran

  95. not only irrelevant .com in some cases you can see some Australian websites in page 1 in Google UK. Don’t mind to see .au site if that is relevant but check the query below, surely something is wrong!!!
    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=pay+as+you+go+car+insurance&meta=&fp=458d05167c37f829

  96. I actually didn’t know about the relevance of TLD for some time. I’m happy you moving more to the relevance of the content, as I have a .de domain with english tutorials around the Java programming language which (I hope ;-) ) are relevant for the international audiance. I believe this works fine, as I have lots of international traffic.

  97. It seems the UK serps are a bit of a mess at the moment. For many of my searches, I get lots of lists or directories served back to me, not the actual product/service. C’mon Google guys, if I make a search from Manchester UK and looking for Pizzas in Manchester, please don’t give me pizza companies in New York or Poland and don’t give me page after page of more lists. Let’s have some “quality” back in the UK SERPs, please.

  98. Daniel Zilli

    Hi Matt!

    Just to make it clear that no one here is “blaming” you. We know this is a Google pitfall (or not ???), but would be nice you give any kind of feedback for us.

    Best,
    Daniel

  99. Hi Matt,
    as Daniel says above, some feedback would really be appreciated, do you think this issue will be resolved soon?

  100. Turgay

    Hi Matt,

    Look at this search result and tell me its normal? i am seeing .ca .au sites appearing in google.co.uk surely there must be an explanation to this as more and more companies are ranking below .ca and .au in google UK.

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=hp&q=landlords+insurance&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=landlords+insuranc&fp=3a52881c271fa9e6

  101. David Mihalek

    I am very happy with this change and I am sure the bugs mentioned above will be worked out. TLD’s should in my opinion not matter in some cases such as anything to do with manufacturing or industrial websites. If I make the best disc brakes and have a .com website; I shouldn’t be required to buy another domain, create another website with some what duplicate content when my .com website is built with all users in mind. If I search for ‘pizza’ give me local results but if I search for ‘centrifuges’ I want the best results language specific that I can get which I think is the direct Google is heading.

  102. Hi Matt,

    I meet one strange situation. I run calculator.net. This site opens to the global visitors. But focus on US visitors more. For example, the entire default unit is US unit. The mortgage calculator is customized for US users, the take home pay calculator are salary calculator are only for US visitors. Also the server is located in New Jersey. However the site get >3,000 UK visitors a day with only <1,000 US visitors. I really do not understand what can be the problem?

    Henry

  103. What about the future of TLD indexation and rankings? When I test the Google sandbox (Caffeine) and mix up the different variables like GL, HL, LR, CR for different applications of region codes, I get distinctly different results. For example when I search the sandbox specifying use of German language located in Germany (cr=countryDE):

    http://www2.sandbox.google.com/search?hl=de&gl=de&q=Grafik-Programmierer&cr=countryDE

    …I see DE domains dominate the top results. Next if I search using the German interface and do not specify a language, I get .com and .net at the top:

    http://www2.sandbox.google.com/search?hl=de&q=Grafik-Programmierer

    ….then if I switch to only search in German, .com and .net are still number one and two– however the search form does not have a “search only in Germany” option:

    http://www2.sandbox.google.com/search?hl=de&q=Grafik-Programmierer

    So my question is this, is the absence of a “Search only sites in Germany” option an indication that location will be less of a factor?

  104. For the search term “graphic design boston” from google.co.uk with the UK radio button checked, the results were a mix of Boston MA and Boston UK, with the exception of the local business maps which were all US. Of the “similar” links at the foot of the page the majority were for US sites.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1CHNG_en-GBGB331GB331&q=graphic+design+boston&btnG=Search&meta=cr%3DcountryUK|countryGB

  105. And this one; a search for “kennels in chessington surrey” on google.co.uk. Second organic has a .co.uk website with a map from PA http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4PBEA_enGB208__213&q=KENNELS+IN+CHESSINGTON+SURREY

  106. Phil

    Matt,

    The examples above seem to me to show that this question was either not asked in the right way or that it was open to an interpretation that allowed has allowed you to provide an easy answer that doesn’t really get to the nub of the problem.

    The problem is not UK sites that happen to have a .com domain, the problem is sites that are totally targeted at a specific geographic location being returned in SERPS in an inappropriate geographic location. This is a problem that has appeared recently and is an issue that Google needs to address. IMO there’s a new bug in the geo location algorithm.

    In my own niche we don’t see examples as extreme as those given above but until about 2 months ago sites that had bought links mostly from US .com sites and blogs used to rank better on google.com than on google.co.uk. Sites with more backlinks from possibly more relevant .co.uk sites would do better on google.co.uk. This meant that google.co.uk was providing somewhat less spammy results that google.com.

    We have now lost this beneficial feature on google.co.uk because something is broken in the algorithm. Please can we have our cleaner google.co.uk results back.

    Thanks

    Phil

  107. Lara K

    The PC shop http://www.oldh.net/ has improved its top 10 positing for a search cheap London Hotel – since my last post! http://www.google.co.uk/#q=cheap+london+hotels&hl=en&safe=off&sa=2&fp=80997cb85fd825e6

    Dare I say it – but Bing has more relevant results? http://www.bing.com/search?q=cheap+london+hotel&go=&form=QBLH&filt=all&qs=n

  108. Hi Matt

    If you’re still looking for anomalys in UK serps then check ‘beds’ which shows http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09218.html on page 1

  109. Lara

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cheap+london+hotels&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.google:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    The PC Repair shop http://www.oldh.net/ – is now top 5 for a search for Cheap London Hotels ? .. lets hope for number by Friday!

  110. Antony

    Hi Matt,
    noticed the UK results appear to be getting even worse with more and more US / non UK sites entering the SERPS for many more terms, especially more generic terms like:
    “silver Jewellery” spelt the english way rather than the American spelling, see for yourself:

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=silver+jewellery&meta=&fp=80997cb85fd825e6

    Number 6 is US site, number 9 is “silver jewelry thailand”.
    You will notice both of these sites feature the American spelling, not the UK spelling.

    how about this one: “hot tubs”
    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=hp&q=hot+tubs&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&fp=80997cb85fd825e6

    number 9 is a US gov site about some form of medical complaint. Not sure UK searchers looking for hot tubs really want to know about infections!

    Do you have any update on how long this will go on for or should we just accept that Google no longer wears the search quality crown and move on?

  111. today for the serps BEDS theres this addition to page 1′s results

    http://www.nps.gov/joda/

  112. A search for ‘jersey hotel’ gives a Hyatt Hotel in Jersey City as the #8 result, rather than a hotel on the island of Jersey in the UK.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&num=100&q=jersey+hotel&btnG=Search&meta=

  113. Drewman

    Number 3 ‘Yahoo.com’ TV Guide……..in the States:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=tv+guide&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=undefined&oq=

    I love American television – although i’m not to sure how useful a TV Guide aimed at an American searcher is for a UK searcher.

  114. Antony

    Hey Matt,
    Search for “auto insurance” on google.co.za (yes south africa). after you-tube videos and wikipedia you get… 3 US sites, the first even has a map of the USA, no mention of South Africa on any of them.

    Looks like this issue isn’t confined to google.co.uk.

  115. Lara K

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cheap+london+hotels&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.google:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    The PC repair shop has fallen to position 7 for a search for Cheap London Hotels.

    Matt, I’m not a SEO person, but aren’t google’s results suppose to be always changing to root out these kinds of thing?

  116. I agree that the domain ending should not be the only factor taken into account but the results do need to be relevant. I’ve noticed here in Australia on Google.com.au more US or UK based .com sites showing on things that really are not relevant for Australian audience like finance sites offering products only for those other countries.

  117. Lara K

    Search for: Cheap London Hotels

    Still at number 6 – http://www.oldh.net/ the PC repair shop.

    At 3 a site with a map showing somewhere in the USA.

    Elsewhere on the web: http://www.bing.com/search?q=cheap+london+hotels&go=&form=QBRE&filt=rf

    appear to have much better search results?

  118. Lara K

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cheap+london+hotels&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.google:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    For a search for London Hotels the PC Shop has fallen to number 10 today! I’m starting to see how spammer make easy money!

  119. We have a new site, hosted on Amazon in Ireland, with .com domain (where we list well in the SERPS). However, we trade in the UK and have told Webmaster Tools that this is the case.

    HOWEVER – we are not listed AT ALL in the UK pages of Google. Fellow businesses on the same platform are well indexed in google.com and in the UK SERPS.

    Any thoughts gratefully received….

  120. George C

    Hi Matt
    You did say, “let me know”
    Debt Consolidation 8 sites out of 20 are not relevant to UK citizens, that’s 40%!

  121. Hi Matt,

    One question that troubles me is that .com and .co.uk, have been specifically designed TLDs for IP identifications throughtout the Internet. We know, we cannot bound the Internet crowd with any laws but then there should be some distinction in using these TLDs; for if the confusion is not sorted out by taking the initiative from a Major player like Google then I guess in future it would lead to so much confusion regarding which domain to use for which geographical location.

    My viewpoint is that there should a distinct rule of the thumb while registering domains and the search results that show up should inevitably take that into consideration. Though this is a vague argument but structuring the web is a big task which probably needs initiative from a big player.

    Your thoughts..

  122. I’m having a problem getting my site listed in the UK search results. It’s a UK company and I am listed on google.com no problem but am nowhere to be found on Google UK. As a company based in the UK this is a big concern. Anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening? As far as I’m aware my site is hosted in the UK.

  123. i can never find my site http://www.ho-tel.co.uk for terms like games and fun stuff etc. i think google is evil and should be shut down

  124. Lara K

    You guessed it!

    For a search for Cheap London Hotel the PC Repair shop is still top 10! and and the number 2 result [ http://www.hotels-london-hotel.com/ ] still shows a map of the USA in SERPs.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cheap+london+hotels&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.google:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

  125. I am facing a unique kind of issue on SERP. When I search “SEO Specialist” from India and US (SERVER) then my site (ayushkumar.com) appear on 1st page where as if hit the same keyword from UK (google.co.uk) then it won’t appear on first 10 pages…any clue….

  126. Its good step and results will improve ( for .com ) websites with time but at the same time content must be country specific and Matt i have a query that why Google make to many changes at Google.co.uk

  127. This past week I’ve noticed a big change in the UK SERPS, it appears now that Google is giving a lot of weight to the overall standing of a domain and not the quality or relevancy of the content.

    For example, if you search for leather sofas, you get consumer reports and even forum posts from popular websites, which aren’t exactley useful, or what you would expect to be presented with.

    A lot more .com’s, especially with the keyphrases in the titles are also appearing…

  128. Antony

    Ok Matt, these results are really not getting any better at all, try this search:

    http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&source=hp&q=google+sitemap+generator&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&fp=65a6334453af9707

    Number 2 is in Italian!!!!

    are we expected to know Italian searching on Google.co.uk now?

  129. Aaron

    Hey there and thanks for the post but this .com tweak appears more to be a UK SERP problem. I’m all for allowing UK .com sites to perform in the UK SERP but we’re seeing US .com sites entering the index. It appears on lending more weight to UK .com’s, US/Canadian and Irish sites have slipped in. After all, there are a lot of powerful sites in industries common to all these countries (and therefore search terms) – make one slip with non-UK TLDs getting a fraction more power in the UK results and you get, well, this situation.

    I’ve taken onboard everything Google’s ever said about relevancy being key and this seems to throw in the face of it. I told my employers that we should focus on one market; the UK. We host there, we spend our off and online marketing spend there and now for one big term (‘online casino’) we’ve gone from 5th to 132nd in two weeks. Needless to say my employers are going crazy.

    Top 10 for ‘online casino’…3 are hosted in the UK.

    Oh, in the Caffeine sandbox we’re still 5th for the term…I don’t get it. I just don’t get it…

  130. utisht

    If you start targeting Geo wise then domain sellers will be more happy. Because many sites who serve many nations, then they have to book the domains like, co.uk, co.in, com.au, etc., I think Google should come out with proper reasoning or force website owners to register or opt for geo specification. Or Google should provide those targeting multi nations a simple meta tag to include on the web page, to appear or different country specific search engines.

  131. Try this one :
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=chartered+accountant+in+windermere&btnG=Search&meta=cr%3DcountryUK|countryGB&aq=f&oq=

    i.e. “chartered accountant in windermere” with “pages from the uk”.

    The top organic result is “windermere.ca” and two more in the top five are US sites.

    This is bonkers, I’m afraid. When are you going to admit you’ve boobed?

  132. Roland

    Anyone who works in the internet biz should know the diference betweek country and generic domains. Sounds like most of you need webmaster 101. My results are now BOOMING in UK!!! muhahahaha

    Roland of Poland

  133. Is this bizarre in reverse?

    I have a .com hosted on a US server. When searching from Google UK with “web” selected, the site is on the first page (7th) when using the term “myopic macular degeneration”. When searching on the same term with “pages from UK” selected, the site is not ranked … or so far back that I can’t even find it!

  134. This whole country domain issue is too confusing. I wonder why Google just doesn’t leave it up to the searcher to specify whether THEY want to see results only from specific countries and/or country domains? What if you’re going to travel to another country and you’re searching ahead of time? All it would take would be a drop down selection box on the Google home page.

  135. Neil

    How about this http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=logitech+g15+deals&btnG=Search&meta=&aq=f&oq= – which is for ‘logitech g15 deals’ (without the quotes).

    In 5th postion is an Australian site, in 6th one with a Californian domain name, in 9th and 10th two more sites which are in dollars, so I assume American. I’m in Britain, so why is so difficult for Google to work out I am not going to want to buy my keyboard from Australia or the USA.

    You would think the dollars all over the pages, in two cases country specific domain names and no doubt hosting in their own countries that these sites are about as much use as a chocolate teapot for my query.

    Perhaps this is yet another example of Google trying to provide useless organic results in the desperate hope users will click their ads, pathetic.

  136. Matt, here is just one example of how Google UKs search results are manipulated, you will observe that substantially the same content is repeated throughout the sites, all the sites link to each other, have the same phone number, address and even the same logos* In addition all the sites are hosted on the same IP and registered to the same individual* Yet they all appear high in Google UKs search results for the related keywords!

    spasandthings*co*uk atmspasandthings*co*uk phoenixspas*co*uk catalinaspas-southwales*co*uk horizonhottubs*co*uk hottubsandthings*co*uk freeflowspas*co*uk spaandhottubcovers*co*uk spaandhottubparts*co*uk spahottub*co*uk
    aquasafe*org*uk aquawarm*eu aquawarmswimmingpoolcover*co*uk swimmingpoolcover*org*uk swimmingpoolsandthings*co*uk
    poolcoversandthings*co*uk poolsandthings*co*uk saunasandthings*co*uk saunasandthings*com logcabinsandthings*co*uk a-t-m*org*uk atmonlinemedia*co*uk andrewswebservices*co*uk candawebdesigns*co*uk 1ststudio*co*uk atmelectricalandleisure*co*uk all-electrical-services*co*uk homeleisurevillage*co*uk thishouseisforsale*co*uk thisiscaerphilly*net thisiscardiff*net
    thisiswales*net softplaymanufacturers*co*uk yourhomeforsale*co*uk homesandhousesforsale*co*uk disinfectantmats*co*uk

    IP : 82*165*91*10 Registrant: thisis*net, Andrew Jones Registrant Address: **** CF83 8GF and **** CF82 7FL

    Why doesnt Google penalize webmasters that have substantially the same content accross multiple interlinking sites? its blatantly outside Googles webmaster guidelines and makes a mockery of the search results produced!

    Surely the duplicated sites should be filtered out or even more appropriately in this example penalized with the interlinking pages devalued also?

    The general consensus on the google webmaster forum is that spam reports are never actually read by the search quality team?

    Question: Would it not be a good idea for Google UK Search Algo to lower the rankings of websites that have not had their actual physical address verified by Google Local BC?

  137. In google search, if a full domain name is typed into the search box (such as http://www.domain.com) I assume that there should be no suggestions (except perhaps http://www.domain.com.au) but if I type http://www.domain then the various TLD’s would be ‘suggested’.

    I ask this because I have seen variations in google suggest where some sites (such as one I am working on – a .com) do not get suggested – is my understanding of ‘google search suggest’ correct? Is an omission of a domain name from this indicative of a penalty?

  138. Okay so I am going to develop this portal http://U-K.in , which will have content specific to United Kingdom geography.

    Now I was wondering if I should go ahead with the development or will it be penalized for being a .in ?

    Looks like comments are closed?

  139. We are still seeing this problem in New Zealand, when one does a search for “Electricians in Canterbury” on Google.co.nz we expect to see New Zealand results
    http://www.google.co.nz/#hl=en&q=Electricians+in+Canterbury&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=c91236aaa4e41cf5

    There are a number of UK results in this including the unrelated ufindus.com UK directory.
    We see this over and over again with results on Google.co.nz

  140. Rik

    Ok this is one of the things that bugs me a little and possibly related to the topic. When searching for [pirates] http://www.google.co.uk/#q=pirates&hl=en&prmd=niv&source=lnt&tbs=ctr:countryUK|countryGB&cr=countryUK|countryGB&sa=X&ei=FX4kTJHSJYjw0wS9sYC7BA&ved=0CA8QpwU&fp=3fa6a6fa87c20bb4
    Top of the results is a onebox for “Pittsburgh Pirates”. Ok there will be a few UK users interested in US baseball teams but does this really belong in UK results?

  141. Matt,

    I agree to this. But what if we have personalized domain tlds ? like http://www.abc.cc http://www.xyz.mp e.t.c. ? I read your other posts and discussions which lead to a results that it doesn’t matter, until or unless content is relevant. But i am still confused.

  142. Brian Smith

    I use Chrome 5.0.375.127 but I can no longer see a “Show UK Results only” button.

    Where has it gone? And, more importantly, how can I get it back?

    Brian Smith

  143. Marcus

    I have the opposite problem. My .com site has no geo specific content. The language used on the site is english. Yet google only ranks that site in the country of the server ip address. Too me it looks like the country factor is too strong. There is nothing in the “link profile” of the site to suggest it should rank for the country of the server ip, there is nothing in the titles or the language used that suggests it. Mayby I should try using on all pages but from what I’ve read Google search should be cabable of detecting the language from the content.

  144. Ok how about this then… I just moved servers to a far better setup. I have just found out that the actual server it’s self is in France (originally unbeknown to me) and its main shared IP address is in france. Our site was originally in the UK. However my web sites dedicated IP address is routed through the UK. and when doing a trace on the IP it appears in the UK.

    I have noticed a 30% loss in traffic since I moved server, Could this be down to the actual server being abroad? Or should I be looking elsewhere for a solution to the problem?

  145. I still don’t see many .coms in the UK. It’s nearly always .co.uk

  146. I have started to notice this more and more over the last 3 – 4 weeks has google made any changes lately that would happen more often?

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