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UK organisations using .ORG addresses hosted in US
Problem of users using Google's 'Pages in the UK' option on google.co.uk
pmbentley




msg:734458
 7:50 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have noticed a problem with a website I have developed being hosted on a US-based server, and with a .org (NOT .org.uk) extension.

When users visit google.co.uk and search for the site with specific keywords, the site is ranked very high up (3rd). But if the 'Pages in the UK' option is used (from the main search page), and the same keywords used, the site does not feature on the at least the first few results pages (if at all).

Is there an easy solution to combat this? Will simply registering the same domain name with a .org.uk extension and pointing this at the main site help? Are there any way to force Google to include the site on UK-specfic searches? The site is for a UK-based company, so obviously I would like it to feature on Google's search results no matter which option is used...

Any help much appreciated...

 

Quadrille




msg:734459
 8:20 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not even Bill Gates can force Google to do anything ...

UK searches are for UK sites; yours does not have a UK host, or a UK suffix, so it won't do too well.

You could move your hosting to the UK - if you can afford it - or buy the .org.uk and 301 forward the .org to the new domain.

It's all about target audiences; if yours is specifically UK, usually best to go for ....uk. But always obtain the .org and (if you can) the .com, and forward them to your site. Otherwise you'll find yourself squeezed in Big Google* - and you don't want that :)

*Because if you don't buy them, someone else will - so you just need the .com - if you can get it.

vincevincevince




msg:734460
 1:11 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

First check the Whois data and edit it so that every address is a UK address with a UK phone number.

Second check for American spellings. Replace them with English spellings. Do that on every page of the site, just for good measure. Leave CSS and markup in American as most browsers don't support English.

Next do one of the following:
a) Move to UK based web-hosting (not exactly cheap)
b) Register the .org.uk and redirect the .org -> .org.uk

Don't bother with .org.uk -> .org - it doesn't work like that.

For good measure write Google an email letting them know of the problem. May not help you now but it may help them tune their algorithms for future matches.

abates




msg:734461
 2:59 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't bother with .org.uk -> .org - it doesn't work like that.

I can back this up. I have a NZ club hosted on a subdomain of my (.com) site, with a .org.nz domain 301'd to it, and it doesn't appear anywhere in Google when you restrict the search to sites in New Zealand.

Though I am wondering how many searchers actually bother to restrict by country, even with the option right there.

daveVk




msg:734462
 3:20 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wonder if any reason US based server could not provide say UK specific IP address for UK clients, seems good bussiness proposition to me.

vincevincevince




msg:734463
 3:56 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

dave, I suspect it is because as soon as they order the IP addresses they become US addresses.... (?)

daveVk




msg:734464
 5:25 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Set up UK company or partner with a UK company maybe? Perhaps an issues with routing?

JKMitchell




msg:734465
 9:20 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had a client that featured well on the pages from the UK results, they then decided that it would be cheaper to host with a bigger company and move the site - the new hosts had servers based in Germany.

They phoned me a little later in a panic because their rankings had plummeted (the site had vanished from the results).

Once they moved back to a UK server their rankings reappeared at the top where they had been - it seems that it was down to the location of the server and not the url (this obviously didn't change).

glengara




msg:734466
 10:55 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

A while ago my Irish hosting company bought a bunch of Dutch IPs and sites that were assigned these fell out of the "pages from Ireland" results until the host re-registered them as now being Irish IPs.

I remember thinking this might be a useful feature for multi-lingual .com sites to be included in country specific results...

daveVk




msg:734467
 11:26 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks glengara, so seems there is no technical reason a US host could not offer UK clients UK registered IP addresses.

glengara




msg:734468
 1:17 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

*.. so seems there is no technical reason a US host could not offer UK clients UK registered IP addresses.*

I've just asked about using multi-national IPs on a single site to one of our local hosting companies who says it's doable, I'll report back if he sees any specific difficulties in setting it up...

TinkyWinky




msg:734469
 1:25 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

suspect it is because as soon as they order the IP addresses they become US addresses.... (?)

You can buy your own IP's - after you have become an ARIN member and then paid a fee and then justified your need for being alloctaed an IP(s)

I believe that if you buy these for UK use - you will be given a UK range IP address - you can then go to a US hosting company and ask them to use your 'personal' ip.... they will then configure and do the mapping as necessary.

This would ensure even on a US hosting on a .org, you will receive UK traffic as detailed in the first post.

Either that, or pay the rip off prices we have here in the UK for hosting ;)

pmbentley




msg:734470
 7:07 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thank you, everyone - all solid advice.

It sounds like it's a mixture of where the server's based and where the IP is registered (vince, I checked the whois information, and both the registar and organisation details are both set to UK, so seems Google ignored this).

Seems a crying shame, I wonder if any hosting companies in the US offer UK-based IPs...

<runs off to email his hosting company...>

pmbentley




msg:734471
 7:14 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

and abates, I tend to agree - I don't think many people actually use the option. The only reason this issue came to my attention was that the person I developed the site for does use it, and was puzzled when I told her to search and expect to see her site near the top of the list.

I informed her of the same thing, that I doubted many people used it, but started to wonder how one could improve the situation for UK-specific searches.

It would be interesting to find out exactly many people actually do use the option. Maybe a question for the guys at Google..?

jimbeetle




msg:734472
 7:24 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

mixture

Aslo throw in language. It's conjectured that if a site meets two of three criteria it will be categorized according to country:

hosting location/IP
tld
language

So, a site on a US IP, with and .uk tld and the language attribute set to en-cockney, might, just might, be considered a UK site. Depending, of course, on just how you happen to define cockney ;-).

Quadrille




msg:734473
 8:20 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are US hosts that offer 'UK hosting' - but the last one I saw ( a while back) charged extra for that, rather undermining the advantage.

If your audience is UK, I still maintain that the simplest, safest and cheapest solution is to get a .co.uk (or .org.uk domain). It's also the most appropriate for a UK site - and it's the most future-proof.

It's well nigh certain that Google will always treat a .co.uk as a UK site; what happens with IPs is really wide open.

JKMitchell




msg:734474
 8:37 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's well nigh certain that Google will always treat a .co.uk as a UK site; what happens with IPs is really wide open.

But the client I mentioned in an earlier post had a .co.uk domain for the very reason that they only sell to the UK. And their site was written in UK English.

pmbentley




msg:734475
 8:38 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

But will simply buying the .org.uk address and forwarding it to the .org make much difference? Previous posts suggest this is not the case...

Unfortunately the hosting company I use does not offer the sale of .org.uk tlds. Do you think that registering the .org.uk domain and forwarding it will increase the chances of a higher-ranked results for users using the 'Pages in the UK' option? Regardless of with which company the .uk tld was registered with?

Thanks for all your replies, btw :)

jimbeetle




msg:734476
 9:08 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do you think that registering the .org.uk domain and forwarding it

No, that's backwards. As vince said somewhere above, go with forwarding the .org to the .org.uk.

Quadrille




msg:734477
 9:06 am on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yup, and I said the same in post #2 ;)

The active site need to have a .uk suffix; other domains should be forwarded to the active site.

You can buy the .co.uk domain from a UK comapny and have your US host take it on; no problems there.

JKMitchell: I've never heard of that situation, and I suspect something went wrong in the move; if a move goes wrong, it only takes a couple of missed Google spiderings for short-term catastrophe. If the new host is fully functional, however, a couple more (and a Google site map) and patience, would see the site restored.

I cannot see any other reason for your .co.uk site having problems.

I have .co.uk's hosted in the states that have always had a G.co.uk advantage, and I know of many others that do too.

Indeed, many UK searches will find .co.uk sites from outside the UK.

glengara




msg:734478
 11:11 am on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

*I cannot see any other reason for your .co.uk site having problems.*

Might be one of those fake UK sites like uk.com....

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