I run a small ecommerce site that does well in the organic US SERPs on all major search engines. However, we get a decent amount of sales from non-US traffic, due to our English AdWords ads which, apparently, show up in the foreign Google SERPs regardles of whether a user has opted to search only pages in their language or country. Obviously, we don't show up anywhere in the foreign language SERPs.
Given that studies have shown that click through rates are generally higher on the organic listings than in PPC ads, and considering the fact that we'd likely target a vast non English-speaking audience, I am considering "internationalizing" our site, but starting with the UK market first. My plan is to host a version of our site at a UK-based host on a .co.uk domain. One concern I have is that I really don't think that the differences between UK English & American English are great enough (especially given our product database) such that they would be considered unique content. My question then, is whether moving a nearly exact copy of our site to a new domain on a UK-located server might incur duplicate content penalties of some sort, which would either prevent the UK site from ever ranking for our primary terms or, worse, end up hurting our original US site?
Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.