Wilburforce, I agree that adding 'UK' to the homepage won't return the index page to the UK-page SERPs. It's more an act of desperation! I'm also inclined to agree with you that the current problems can be attributed to an algorithm that is simply flawed.
One thing I cannot understand however is why my site is fully and correctly indexed on the all following DCs (which I believe serve the UK), but whenever I search 'pages from the UK', the index page is nowhere to be found:
On an optimistic note, the .com which had been #1 for years - and which vanished at the same time as my own site - made a dramatic return to the UK SERPs last night, with a cache date of 08/09/06.
I live in hope.
When my index page disappeared in August, it disappeared from a lot of DC's as well (15-16 of them for a couple of days). When it reappeared in the DC's it reappeared in UK searches.
This time around it disappeared only briefly from a few DC's, but still isn't appearing in searches even if I do a sitename search (which returns ALL my other 100+ pages), so either the page itself isn't UK indexed, or there is some mechanism to hide it. I think the page is no longer indexed (i.e. the filter excludes pages from the index, not from searches), but see final paragraph, which might put a spanner in that hypothesis. Why pages would be cached but not indexed (or how they might be indexed but invisible) is certainly food for thought.
The odd thing is that Google webmaster central tells me the page IS indexed, so whatever the explanation it looks as if Google's right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. This is very worrying if - like me - most of your potential new clients use Google as their only method of looking for a supplier.
>> The odd thing is that Google webmaster central tells me the page IS indexed <<
I asked Matt Cutts which datacentre will match the results shown in WMC and have yet to receive an answer to that. Obviously it is only going to match one datacentre as each datacentre has slightly different information.
I'm relieved to report that my site has miraculously reappeared in the Google UK SERPs this morning and the homepage has now been cached and correctly indexed in first position when using the Site: command.
As an added bonus, Google decided to move me up one spot in the SERPs for my most competitive keyword.
Has anyone else reappeared from the ether today?
Not I, sadly.
Which datacentre is the fix seen on?
If you look at say, gfe-gv and then at gfe-eh you should see a lot of differences anyway.
Look at a few others - you might find yet other variations on those too.
Yes, there are indeed variations across the UK DC range.
For the time being though, I'm definitely there. I see significant SERP fluctuations between gfe-eh, gfe-gv and gfe-jp.
How do I check the specific IP address of the DC that returns my search results?
Use the Mozilla or Firefox browser and install the ShowIP extension.
Thanks for the tip.
I'm getting results from the following DCs:
Just to add, it is not exclusively .coms and .nets that are affected. I have a .uk.com not appearing in UK search - madness!
Couldn't really be a more obvious indication of a UK-based site!
Any .com needs to have UK-based hosting to appear in UK searches.
See over there [webmasterworld.com...] for a list of Google Datacentres.
My .com site is UK-hosted. It is registered to me at a UK address, has UK on the index page and in keywords, and every query I have tried on any geolocation tool (for domain name or host IP address) tells me it is in the UK.
I now think the problem is caused by a bug in Google's search operators.
If I use Google's advanced search operators in a UK-only search on google.co.uk, I find the following:
info:www.mydomainname.com finds my index page
cache:www.mydomainname.com finds the (7 September) cached version.
site:www.mydomainname.com finds every page except the index page, and
www.mydomainname.com on its own doesn't find the index page either.
The problem is peculiar to UK-only searches, so:
1. Whatever tells Google the index page of my domain is in the UK works for some kinds of search but not others.
2. Whatever tells Google my domain is in the UK works for all pages except the index page.
This looks like some kind of field duplication. Are they transferring to a new database?
With any luck this is bothering a few big and influential UK .com sites, and Google will be getting enough grief over it to fix it fairly soon.
Just happened to me this morning.
.co.uk domain hosted in the UK. #1 for the last 3 years on co.uk and com
Homepage missing from .co.uk and not showing in the serps for our keyword. Still fine on .com
My index page returned to normal on 14 September, but is gone again from UK search results this morning (other than for cache: or info: searches as detailed above).
Is anyone else experiencing similar fluctuations?
I have an American firm and work from Poland and the US. My server is in the US and I use .com and .com.pl . When I search Google from Poland to look for some products that I want to buy in the US, I get mostly uk listings and a smattering of European listings. No US listings on first five pages (gave up there on four different products.) I now go to yahoo to get US listings.
Wilburforce - yes this is still happening to me.
I had one .tv domain come back in the last few days, but two .coms are gone instead.
I've noticed something with the cache dates of some affected sites.
Site A that is now gone was last cached 9/9 when unaffected - and was never affected before. Now it's cached 26/8.
Site B had been previously affected but receovered and was cached OK 17/8, 2/9 and 8/9. Now it's gone again and the cache date is 3/8.
However I have sites that have come back and gone again where the cache date is mroe recent.
Driving me F*CKING NUTS.
Having trouble with a UK hosted .NET domain.
Have resorted to transferring the .NET to a new domain registrar to see this has an effect on UK only search.
Will let you know how it works out!
Mine has reappeared this morning, but the top-ranked site is still missing.
If a .com (.net/etc.) site is hosted on a non-UK server moving it to a UK server might make a difference, but I don't see how it should otherwise. Also, if - as in my case - only the index page is affected, it probably isn't a question of host location.
It still looks to me like a fault in Google's (new!) geolocation algorithm. Judging by the present apparent instability they are still messing with it, and changing things at the domain end probably won't help them get it right any faster. As my own - unchanged - index page has moved in and out of view several times it would be impossible for me to deduce whether some change I might make had made any difference. Clearly something at Google is the prime cause.
I've just noticed that this problem has resurfaced with a vengeance here in the UK. The #1 site in my industry vanished on Monday, and my site has also disappeared from the 'pages from the UK' SERPs.
This missing homepage problem is extremely annoying. I can see no reason for it whatsoever.
If anyone at Google is reading this, please get it fixed soon!
Still a major problem for key sites. G must know and be working on this, I hope!
However, what impact on trafiic has this had? Not a lot I would guess. Now the two sets are lined up (web v pages from UK) not many people are going to select 'pages from the UK', and I would think this number is falling.
I remember when the only way to get UK results was to click on the 'pages from the UK' but this is no longer the case and 'pages from the web' are no longer populated, if you search in UK, by pages from US etc.
So although annoying/disconcertying (and a pain explaining to clients!) is this actually having an impact on your bottom line traffic?
I have seen roughly a 15% decrease in traffic since my site vanished from the UK SERPs. Now, this is not a problem from a business point of view as the site is permanently #1 for Adwords every day from 11am until 1am. HOWEVER, all the organic traffic I was getting through the night has vanished. Moreover, how do I know how many people were clicking on the site at #3 in the organic SERPs?
I'm sure anyone would prefer to have their site at #1 using Adwords AND to have it listed just below in the organic SERPs.
Also, if my site has a London theme, has 'london' in the URL AND is hosted in the UK (physically), it should be listed when searching Google for 'pages from the UK!'
In my case it hasn't actually reduced total web traffic very much, but it has (with precision!) removed the traffic that generated business.
Happily my index page has been OK for a week or so, but I'm not counting my chickens yet. The UK number one is still out (which, of course is good for me in the short term, but doesn't inspire confidence).
I have reappeared this morning after being constantly out of SERPS for 20 or so days.
Keeping everything crossed...!
The missing .com's in my industry have also reappeared. Let's hope that the big G has finally fixed this geofilter.
My homepage has now disappeared from the within the UK search on Google. It is a .net site hosted in the UK, targetting the UK. My site has also been adversely affected by a data refresh on September 30th and I'm wondering if the two are related.
I have found that even a web search often ignores non uk sites. Key arguements for my own site include a place name that also occurs several times in New England but a never see sites referencing these locations when checking my SERPS either way. I know that relevant sites do exists.
I'm in Australia, and my .com site now doesn't show in "Pages from Australia". This has happened to me before - I even made a post here before a couple of months ago. However, it was back within a week, so hopefully this will happen again.
As a side note, a web host that I am considering moving to is having the same problem - they have a .net domain and servers in the same city as I am in, but only their sub-pages, not home page comes up in the "Pages from Australia".
I guess the only way to "ride out the storm" so to speak is to advertise while the big G sorts out this problem - for a 1 word keyword, my site comes up 5th on google.com.au, ~40th on google.com but nowhere to be seen when "Pages from Australia" is selected.
Since the Sept30th refresh (or whatever) my pages are still as they were for "pages from the web" but MIA for ONLY SOME TERMS for "pages from the UK"
Most are fine - but some are MIA
Bit screwy here
I posted this on Matt Cutts blog
|Google.co.uk (UK results only) has for over 10 weeks now been dumping non .co.uk homepages from the index. Through these pages other pages are crawled and cached and ranking. This only affects non .co.uk domains so I assume itís geo-targeting. Sites are UK hosted (Iíve been to the DC), UK optimised, UK registered and some even have UK place names in the domains. They are all small business sites targeting local markets. No advertising, no affiliate. |
Many of these sites have a .co.uk also. So my question is - if we ditch the .com, .tv and .net and switch to the .co.uk as the primary with a 301 redirect will this help? Should we be avoiding non .co.uk domains if we want to be found in Google.co.uk?
and got this reply
|Peter, the same basic index drives our .co.uk search and our .com search and our .fr search and so on, so itís less likely to be a difference of inclusion and more likely to be a difference of degree. If you want to show up in the .co.uk search and you can migrate from a .com to a .co.uk easily with a 301, it might benefit you. I would try moving one directory as a test, and if that goes well, then you could migrate the whole thing. |
Although may of the sites I manage that were affected have now recovered, I still have a number of affected domains - a .tv, .nets, .coms. I have tried a 301 to the .co.uk of one of them as a test and will post back on the results.
Well, my index page has gone again this morning (it was still OK yesterday).
Once again, info: and cache: searches find it (so it is obviously indexed, last cached 28 Septemeber), while site: or plain domainname searches find other pages, but not my index page. Text searches don't find it.
What kind of conditions would allow this? According to the Firefox Show IP extension (thanks, g1smd!), all results are coming from the same DC.
Im glad lots of people are in the same boat.
We moved our server from the US to The UK and also have a co.uk domain.
The site is huge and should be high on the .co.uk as it does well on the .com still, but alas this is nowhere in the first 100 for all of our search terms when you choose "from the Uk only"
This has to change.
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