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"UK results only" - site: command shows index page missing
A problem in Google UK (UK results only filter) affects non .co.uk domains
fishfinger




msg:3051239
 8:03 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Except on these UK datacentres

64.233.183.107
64.233.187.99
66.249.85.107

If you do a site: search using Google UK's 'UK results only', the index pages of ten .com domains and three .net domains (out of 65 that I manage) are not listed.

1) All sites hosted in the UK across 4 different servers in 3 different DCs
2) No link exchanges, very little outward linking, no excessive inward linking. No inter-linking. These are not directories, MFA, affiliate. They are contact/services offered websites for UK companies and sole traders. Some are dynamic, some static. Size from under ten to under one hundred pages.
3) No canonical issues, no dupe content issues, no over-optimisation. I use the same techniques and links for all my sites. Number of affected sites has not grown since this problem was spotted. Unaffected sites re-cached this week.
4) Internal pages all listed AND RANKING for their terms.

Would other UK based webmasters like to share their experiences? Perhaps we can collectively contact Google and refer them to this thread.

 

foolsgold




msg:3051613
 2:34 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes we have seen this, but we have also seen the reverse where site ranking on Google UK pages from the UK do not rank on Google UK pages from the web.

jamsy




msg:3052029
 7:39 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Fishfinger

This is an issue that has you know we are suffering from also.

I think its only a small matter of time before this is corrected by Google.

hughie




msg:3052119
 8:56 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

we had this problem as well for a few days, ranking no.2 on google.com and .co.uk world search, but ignored completely on UK only, even though we are a UK domain on UK servers.

It seems to have cleared iteself and we never saw a major traffic drop.

TheVisitor




msg:3053088
 10:46 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Happening for me too.

A site:domainname search lists the pages in the site ok when performed in the default search, but lists all pages APART from the homepage when done with the 'pages from the UK' option. Also, a search for the domain name shows the homepage in the #1 slot in a default search, but a search for the domain name using the 'pages from the UK' option shows the same list, but no homepage anywhere.

The site is hosted in the UK on a shared IP, physically located in the UK. I have located other .coms on the same IP and their homepages show up fine when the domain name is searched for using the 'pages from the UK' option.

This has been the case for around 2 weeks now.

DanG




msg:3054315
 12:43 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've seen exactly the same problem across 3 sites that I monitor, it's been the case for about 2 weeks now. I've read other posts saying that they're using backwards link analysis to geo-filter results. I'm not totally convinced about this. To be honest I can't see them leaving the results as they are.

fishfinger




msg:3054671
 5:20 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

When I first spotted this on a few sites I agreed with the geo-link idea. Having assessed all my sites, I don't. Internal pages are indexed and ranking fine. Only index pages are affected.

I've analysed all the affected and non-affected sites and there is no pattern that I can see.

fishfinger




msg:3055440
 9:39 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've contacted Google via Webmaster Central and using the 'dissatisfied - help us improve' link under the SERPs. I would recommend that other affected webmasters do the same if they haven't already.

gilbertl




msg:3058726
 2:30 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I came here to see if others had the same issue as me - and you do.

My own site (I only have one) was number one on UK only and number two on Worldwide for my keyword. Recently I am number one Worldwide and not ranked in the "pages from UK" - which seems the wrong way round. We are a UK based and orientated site offering UK services.

I hadn't put a lot of attention to using the term "UK" on my pages, since it felt good to have a worldwide ranking and you never know maybe someone big in the USA will spot me and buy me out (dreams!). But now maybe I need to make sure Google knows we are UK based?

Or do you think this is a glitch?

fishfinger




msg:3059962
 9:08 am on Aug 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

My view is that Google is trying some sort of geo-targeting (as they have planned to for some time) but that it is not working properly.

mcdermc




msg:3060001
 10:06 am on Aug 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

A UK geo-targeting trial (gone wrong) is fairly plausible fishfinger but if so, why've they de-indexed the index pages only? In my case my UK based .com index page (that has been Page 1 SERP for several years) has been de-indexed (ouch!) but a subordinate page appears on Page 2 results for the same term.

Can't quite get my head around that one.

jamsy




msg:3067347
 1:56 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

anyone recovered from this yet?

optimist




msg:3072672
 8:14 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

We're seeing this in the US as well. With sites ranking on the top pages of co.uk and co,in, but no where in .com with US hosting. I think they have had regional filters that are out of wack since Jagger. Top 10 ranking for US hosted sites that are not related to .co.uk and .co.in yet rank well there.

Tried everything, no responses from any direct communications with anyone at Google.

We think its some kind of filter.

jamsy




msg:3072704
 8:55 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seems like this problem is sorted.

Our missing index page is now back in the "UK" results. With rankings nw fully restored.

JackR




msg:3072928
 1:22 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can anyone confirm which of these are UK DCs:

[64.233.167.104...]
[64.233.183.104...]
[64.233.187.104...]
[72.14.207.99...]
[64.233.183.107...]
[64.233.187.99...]
[66.249.85.107...]

foolsgold




msg:3073161
 7:48 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Jamsy

'Seems like this problem is sorted'

So did we, but it's not! It looks like some of the DC's are OK, some in between and some just plain knackered!

I don't get why it is the home page only that goes AWOL?

Wilburforce




msg:3074732
 11:30 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

My (UK hosted) .com index page dropped out of Google's UK index (still high position globally) on 14 August. All other pages on the site were unaffected, and there had been no recent changes to that page.

The index page was back to normal on 17 August (again no changes at this end), and stayed that way until this morning, when the same problem reappeared (yet again, no changes at this end). Again, only the index page is affected, and it is only affected (at the time of this post) on:

66.102.9.99
66.102.9.104
66.102.9.107
66.102.9.147.

In the meantime, I have noticed the same thing has affected a competitor's site (also a UK supplier of a UK-only service, also .com), but the effect certainly isn't universal. We're both in the top 5 for main relevant search term internationally.

The effect - as far as I am concerned, anyway - is limited to UK-only searches on google.co.uk.

It looks to me as if Google is trying out some kind of filter (although why it should only affect the index page defeats me, unless it is a trial with intentionally limited scope).

Any more ideas out there?

fishfinger




msg:3075007
 3:46 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting that it's happening to US sites as well.

Of the 14 sites out of 65 I manage that were affected (3 .nets and 11 .coms), 8 are now back.

Some of these I had worked on (links, new content, tweaks), some I hadn't. I think it's just a matter of time.

It looks to me as if Google is trying out some kind of filter

I think so. I recommend pointing out all instances to Google via the 'dissatisfied - help us improve' links after running your 'site:' search

fishfinger




msg:3075102
 5:17 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I spoke too soon...

Out of 27 non .co.uk domains, 20 have now been affected. 7 of these came back over the past week and a half - but two of them are now gone again. I have unaffected and affected sites on the same server cached on the same day. No pattern that I can detect.

Bah.

Wilburforce




msg:3075175
 6:03 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Now apparently cached on all DC's, but not yet returned to UK index.

JackR




msg:3076880
 12:30 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just this morning my site was sitting comfortably at #4 here in the UK for a very competitive keyword.

Tonight ALL the .com's have been banished from the SERPs when selecting 'pages from the UK'.

The previous 4 x .com's have now been replaced with less relevant .co.uk's ...

*Sigh*.

Wilburforce




msg:3076915
 1:21 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not so here. Four of the top ten are .coms.

When my index page "disappeared" in August it wasn't cached in some (the number varied) of Google DC's.

This time around it dropped out of the cache of only 4-5 DC's (and only for a few hours: it is now showing as cached in all of them), but still isn't indexed in UK-only searches. This time (again) only the index page is affected.

I still think it is Google trying out some kind of filter. I think they have modified it since the first time it affected me - possibly several times, by the way everyone else posting here has been variably affected - but I anticipate more temporary disorders before they either get it right or crash and burn.

Wilburforce




msg:3077143
 9:49 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

'Four of the top ten are .coms'

Actually, looking at it again, only one is an index page (and the problem - can anybody report a different experience? - seems only to affect index pages.

Clearly whatever mechanism is now being used is pretty aggressive.

MrBlack




msg:3077179
 11:58 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

One of my sites was affected by this phenomenon over the last week or so. However, as of today, everything is back to normal. The index page of my .com website shows up as number 1 in the serps for 'UK sites only' on G.co.uk for my chosen keywords.

JackR




msg:3077199
 12:41 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wilburforce, you're absolutely right. All the index pages of the .com's (mine included) have been removed from the 'pages from the UK' SERPs.

As I've just posted on another board:
'The irony is that just this week I moved to UK hosting precisely to ensure a 'pages from the UK' presence. Within 24 hours of having done so, my homepage had indeed been indexed and placed at #4.

24 hours later it had gone - along with the homepages of the other .com's in the UK SERPs.'

-This is definitely a serious problem that Google needs to remedy. The #1 spot that was held by the same site for four years constantly has now been given to a significantly less relevant themed site.

The crazy thing is that as my industry is exclusively London-based, it's ridiculous that Google has implemented such a drastic change/mistake.

Let's hope that perhaps Googleguy would be kind enough to reply to this thread with some words of comfort!

Googleguy ... Bueller ... anyone?

MrBlack,

That is very encouraging - thanks for letting us know. Let's hope the rest of us are so fortunate in the days to come.

JackR




msg:3077234
 1:37 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

To add: I've just placed 'UK' on my homepage in several prominent locations and added 'UK' to the Meta Keywords.

Fingers crossed. I'll report back if it works.

flanok




msg:3077251
 2:18 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had the same issue with a .net, could be found with worldwide search but not on the UK search (homepage only).
lasted 3 weeks but now back to normal.

Mark

g1smd




msg:3077400
 5:44 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you linking internally back to only /index.html instead?

If so, then that is the whole problem.

Link only to http://www.domain.com/ from every page of your site, and send the PR to the URL that Google wants to list.

JackR




msg:3077493
 7:05 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a sitewide menu with 'Home' on the top left-hand corner. EVERY page on the site has this link - all pointing directly to www.widget.com

That said, my homepage has a PR3 while most of the rest of the site is PR5 ...

Could this have anything to do with Google not liking the structure of the site?

Wilburforce




msg:3077964
 12:54 pm on Sep 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

'I've just placed 'UK' on my homepage in several prominent locations'

JackR

I don't think this can have anything to do with it. My own index page already met those conditions (also having a couple of +44's, as well as British towns and placenames in H1). Also, the only .com still showing in my main keyword top-ten has nothing of this kind to distinguish it. If the filter is based on keywords or page content it is difficult to see how it is working.

I also have a lower PR for my index page than for internal pages (and this is fairly common on other sites too). I think this is a recent Google issue, and has nothing to do with site structure.

Google de-indexing the homepage of non .co.uk sites in UK-only searches - the main topic here - is what we are trying to figure out. For my own money (and it is costing me!) Google is messing with an algorithm intended to exclude false-positives from UK-only searches. There is good reason for them to do this, but until they get it right I think a lot of UK .com sites have a problem. I assume most people posting here are looking for and guessing at the basis for the way the algorithm works, but I don't think anyone has it yet, and I certainly don't.

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