homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

UK site dropped from UK index but position 3 on google.com. Why?

 9:47 am on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

A friend of mine has a website based in the UK which very recently ranked in the top 3 on google.com and on google.co.uk for the main industry search term.

Yesterday the website totally disappeared from the google.co.uk index although it is still ranked position 3 in the SERPS on google.com.

There have been no significant changes to the website, the site is purely whitehat (though it has a lot of rubbish javascript but nothing that I can see that would upset Google - for example there are no cloaked links or redirects) the site has plenty of quality content and it is not over-optimized. It is sitting on the same UK server with the same IP address as previously.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the disappearance from the UK index is a result of a change in Google's algorithm or some other failure at Google's end.

My questions are:

1. Why has Google dropped the site from its UK index?
2. Is Google likely to drop the site from the google.com index?
3. What can we do to get it back in the uK index?

Anyone got any ideas?



 3:08 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

The same has happended to me. I assume that your freinds tld is NOT .co.uk

I assume they are now looking differently at their GEO filtering. If so then no you shouldn't be dropped from the .com index

This filter os obviously not working correctly since legitimate UK sites can not be found. I have faith that Google will sort this soon.

However i did hear something that they also now look at the IBL's and where they are actually located so it could be that your friend and oursevles have too many non UK based inbound links?


 8:53 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Join the club, you MUST have a UK TLD or a UK IP address. I can tell you from personal experience this is a nightmare.


 10:08 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

UK TLD or a UK IP address

This is not the case anymore - there are definately new factors in play here. We have a .uk.com which obviosuly is sub domain of a .com but our IP address is UK and we have only just experienced this problem.


 8:24 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)


You are right in thinking that my friend's URL is not .uk, it is .com. You are also right in that there are new factors at work here - clearly the algorithm has changed.

The IBLs to my friend's site are almost all from UK servers and IP addresses but interestingly there are several outbound links on his index.htm all to .com websites in the US. I now think that this is what must have confused Google.

Do you also have outgoing links to non-UK websites?


 8:40 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

well....some of us have it the other way round when you have a .co.uk...ranking vastly better in google.co.uk that .com to the point of not appearing on .com for many searches but ranking well on .co.uk.....and not appearing at all in many geo countries....this is for a product located in UK but sought by people worldwide...so the question is where do you want to sell most because it seems google is looking to make you decide...do you want a .com and do better globally that at home..or the oitherw ay round..either way its another segmenation of the global serps that can only mean less traffic in the future....


 8:49 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

you MUST have a UK TLD or a UK IP address

UK IP address is not new, but UK tld would be a new requirement. However I don't think that the tld by itself is the answer.

I manage about 60 sites all based in the UK and all use a mix of .coms, .nets and .co.uks.

Some .coms are still ranking fine (i.e. top 3 for medium competitive terms) but others are gone.

The tld might be a factor, but it's not the only one. If it were this would be grossly unfair to sites that have been around since the internet began. I think that more than one factor is at play here, and that location of IBLs might have a lot to do with it.

Added : I also think that this might be a blunder at Google or that their UK index is being filled by a 5 billion page spammer. For every site I've checked so far that has vanished, their index and other pages are not in the UK index. Anyone else noticing this?

[edited by: fishfinger at 9:03 am (utc) on Aug. 16, 2006]


 9:03 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

The problem is with that outgoing links to non-UK websites from index.
Those sites became authoritative and take the place of your friend site.They not rank well couse are not optimized .
That's a big problem I face from 27 june too.I had a link to a directory that take the place of my site for more keyw I put in anchor and description.I remove the links from my site and from directory but I think that G keep the cache of those pages somewhere.

[edited by: shogun_ro at 9:12 am (utc) on Aug. 16, 2006]


 9:05 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

outgoing links to non-UK websites from index

What I see doesn't support this. Both affected sites link out only to UK sites.


 9:11 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Something seriously weird going on.

Have a .co.uk hosted in UK with UK IP.

Had about 8000 unique pages in Google. Over the last week, 2000 or so dropped out, and another 2000 dropped out today (or yesterday). All my pages are disappearing! Help!

It's no difference at Google.com - same deal!?

I haven't done anything spammy at all, not even touched it.


 9:17 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

"What I see doesn't support this. Both affected sites link out only to UK sites"

Don't link out from index or an optimized page.This is my advice.
Or use flash butons or rel="nofollow"


 9:39 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I disagree.

I have just checked the 65 sites I manage. Not one of them links out from their home page. Here is what I have seen.

Ten .coms and 3 .nets are affected. For all of these they have had their index page removed from the UK index.

Not a single .co.uk site is affected and many .coms are also unaffected.

I optimise all my sites the same way and I also get links from the same places.

Many sites that are ranking fine were only re-cached in the last few days.

The mroe I look at this the more I begin to think that Google has a problem and it is not something I have or have not done.


 9:45 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

1. Why has Google dropped the site from its UK index?
Google are American

2. Is Google likely to drop the site from the google.com index?
Yes ... Google are American are you?

3. What can we do to get it back in the uK index?
Become an American. By your shares now!



 11:01 am on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is happening to me too:


Try searching for your terms at a datacentre IP - some UK ones:

Would I be correct in assuming that your results here are ok?

Fishfinger - I'm in agreement. This is not making a lot of sense and I think there may be a problem at Google's end.


 12:00 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Visitor - yes you are correct. These three DCs return the index page from the sites I've tried.

I've also found that internal pages are ranking fine on the affected sites - in other words if the page is in the index it's not affected.

So it looks less like a penalty and more like a bug to me.

[edited by: fishfinger at 12:06 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2006]


 12:02 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

My previous post must be edited:

"Or use flash butons or rel="nofollow" to

Instead use flash butons or rel="nofollow"


 12:05 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

No offence mate but - edited or not - what you say doesn't apply to a single one of the 13 different sites I looked at in depth out of 65 sites that I manage.


 12:19 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Doesn't apply in your case becouse you said:

"Not one of them links out from their home page"

My case is as I said.

IMO all this changes on SERP post 27 june is becouse of link schemes.
Is important who link to you,from where and who get the link from you(your vote for others).If it's natural everithing is ok,if is artificial,not OK.
If a SPAM site link to you and you link back without knowledge,You lost SERP.


 2:45 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have a look at the geopositioning for the site - i.e. where is your host located - I guess its not in the UK. If so transfer the site to a UK based server and you should see it return to the UK serps


 2:53 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

fishfinger and TheVisitor

I don't think it can be a matter of IBL location or, following on from what fishfinger says, an outgoing link issue. I doubt therefore that this is primarily a link issue at all.

Our index.htm is missing from the UK index but other pages are included. Consulting the datacenters as TheVisitor suggests, our index.htm is listed on

but not on

This really does look like a Google bug to me. Removing a completely bona fide and highly-ranked UK website from the UK SERPS while leaving it highly-ranked in the global SERPS is clearly inconsistent - and so must be an error.


 3:28 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have a look at the geopositioning for the site - i.e. where is your host located - I guess its not in the UK

The affected sites are hosted across four different UK servers; I know this for certain because its our hosting and the DCs are all in the UK.

I also have other sites on these servers that are unaffected.

I don't think it can be a matter of IBL location

I'm inclined to agree now that I've looked at all my affected sites


 5:20 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

mmm the problem with it being a "Google Bug" doesn't really help us at all.

In my experience with these so called Bugs is that they take an age to be acknowledged and even longer if at all to be fixed.

To be honest whilst looking at my serps for my market place i would have to agree that they are good - the other top nine that where previously there are still there now - its only me thats lost out and of course i am a relevant site to the UK market which for four years Google has agreed until now.

I have a few outbounds to US sites on a small links page so may change this and see what affect it has.

However you often see on shopping sites aimed at one regional market that they say something like "US Visitor then visit our partner site at something.com" and vice versa for the US sites. So I doubt that the links are causing it but its worth a go.


 9:22 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Our site has now been restored to position 3 in the UK SERPs for our main search term. In other words we are back to where we were before the dropout a few days ago.

Is everyone else who was abruptly dropped from the UK index a few days ago now back in?


 9:26 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not here - still happening.

I have to say that the concept of physical locations of IBLs or outbound link destinations affecting SERPS (especially to the extent of homepages disappearing) is ridiculous - with the hosting market as global as it is, why would Google use this information as a marker? I can't think of a single reason.


 9:54 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I recover one of my site this morning.
Is a net TLD hosted on US server in romanian language.

Keyword is competitive 10 millions results.
It rank 3'th for romanian search on google.ro,hl=ro and 1'st on google.com,hl=en.

Under me all sites have ro TLD's hosted on ro servers.
I have inbound links from both romanian and english content sites.
I removed all outbound links even from links page.

As I said it's all about links schemes.


 10:36 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whatever the problem was, it was definitely not a link issue.

We made no significant changes to the site and no changes at all to our links prior to the dropout from the UK index. We made no further changes and yet we now find ourselves back at number 3 in the UK SERPS.

The changes have all been at Google's end - it's a Google foul-up.


 10:39 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes, I also saw a restoration (?) of the pre-27 June SERPs overnight last night.

Pre-27 June, our sites were based on USA servers, and now they are based on UK servers (this was just an unfortunate coincidence, planned well before the 27-June update fiasco)

We DO now see our SERPs on google.co.uk to be much better than before 27 June, and our SERPs on google.com are (mostly) as before 27 June as well.

ONE THING: We have seen "fiascos" before, but NONE have taken so long to recover (7 weeks)! Previous "fiascos" took only 3-4 weeks to correct.


 11:45 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

my established quality site went back into the June 27 disaster this morning after a recovery had taken place for 3 weeks. Traffic is down again 90%.


 1:03 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Please remember that this thread is about GEO stuff - it's about homepages missing and SERPS taking a beating when the GEO selection is chosen when searching in Google (e.g. 'pages from the UK').

It is NOT about the more general 27th June issues.


 12:13 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have started a specific thread to try to keep this on-topic.


Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved