There is no such thing as just one US set of results - they are also geo-located in a more granular way. Some results can differ just between Boston and New York.
One factor that comes into play is the user's IP address. So if you can search on Google through a server that is in a location where you want to see the results, that's the only sure way.
Someone told me to put this operator '&gl=US' in the end of the searched URL of Google to see only US based result pages.
Is it correct form or just a myth ?
[edited by: tedster at 5:38 am (utc) on Mar. 20, 2008]
That parameter is something that Adwords users sometimes employ to shift the displayed ads to another country - and it certainly can change the organic SERPs as well. I have some misgivings about what organic results you are actually seeing, however, because of the factors I noted above. Still, it's a lot better than having no idea.
The Adwords Diagnostic tool lets you play around down to the city level. I haven't studied it that seriously for organic results, but it might be worth a spin.
I am using the gl=us (or uk, ie...) parameter - works pretty well (when comparing to proxy server results based in each country).
Another hint would be using country specific portals that have imported country specific results from google. E.g. www.aol.com will give me US results with more than 99% accurancy.
However, I am not able (because do not need to) check West coast vs. East coast in US - and I would expect slightly different results for websites connected to US teritory (not for international sites residing e.g. in EU)
Use a US based DNS server provider and set these into your router as the default for DNS lookups. This worked for me in the Uk and the results were very different from what I was using.
How about using Adwords adpreview tool, wouldnt the organic results also be indicative of the location you choose?
Well I use a proxy service to do what seo_gyan wants to do, the google server thinks I am user logged in from US.
[edited by: engine at 9:11 am (utc) on Mar. 21, 2008]
[edit reason] generalised [/edit]
I use the Google Toolbar where you can set the preferred location in the settings. And I use the search engine field in Firefox to get local results.
There are two different things to think about when searching in the US. One is to see the SERPs that an average seacher will see. I have a personal proxy in the US and sometimes use the &gl=US parameter. I have found results to be nearly identical between the two.
The other thing is searching for websites in the US only. You can to this by adding the parameter &meta=cr%3DcountryUS. I don't know if this option is used much, because it is as far as I know not selectable from the American www.google.com homepage.
I use VPN [Company Lab] which gives me a US IP address and then Google for the keywords. Of little use to me because most of my sites are not meant for US users, anyway.
&gl=us works fine. I have US proxies I can surf via and adding the &gl=us to the query string provides me (almost always) with the same results that a US proxy does on the .com.
just use this:
Change the country, state, and city to what you want and you get the search results that would show up if you were searching from there.
The gl parameter works well, but gl + IP works better IMO.
I use US VPN, but I also have the same results with us proxy.
I find that the easiest solution is using an anonymous proxy based out of the U.S.
me being a Canadian and most of my traffic coming from U.S. SERPS I was in need of a solution like you are looking for right now...
You can use the service I use for free but will block it your access and require that you buy a subscription (dirt cheap) once you have met a certain quota of traffic that has gone though the proxy.
Hope this helps.
[edited by: tedster at 9:06 pm (utc) on Mar. 21, 2008]
And why do we see different results for different gl-s? Why a global website hosted on a US server, with a European whois, ranks on 1st position for a general search term when gl=uk (not country specific) but for the same search term is not on top 50 when gl=us?
Would a US whois for the domain guarantee a better position in US results?
if its only about US results I think google suggest works very well.
search for google suggest in google.
I find that using one of the old US based 'google dance' websites is the easiest way for me
How long has google been doing this? I was fooled into thinking it was #3 for my keyword, as my audience is global it makes me wonder why....
Our problem is that we want to ensure that potential customers from multiple countries finish up at our US based web site.The only suggestion, that we keep getting from various "experts",
is to buy web sites with our domain name and dozens of country suffixes which I do not consider practical!
The previous answers on this thread also do not seem to address the problem ( or am I missing something?).
Example: A user in the US types in a key word and gets x thousand possibles.A user in Jamaica types ( simultaneously) the same key word and gets very different results in page ranking ( order),number of hits etc.
If our web page is reasonably well ranked ( by spending on SEO) for US users it may be money wasted for our real markets.
The various experts are telling you the straight scoop - if you want to ensure country-specific rankings, then country TLDs are the best way to go at this time. This is not to say that you cannot get a .com domain to be so strong that it will tend to be first page from most locations. That's certainly a possibility, and harder to do in some niches than others.
Download the Google Global Add-on in Firefox. Super useful ;-)
Tedster - I don't think that will help if they are running the same exact site on 2 domains, in fact I would recommend against it unless they are running two unique versions of the site due to potential dup content issues. Or am I crazy?
No, not crazy, but maybe just a bit paranoid ;)
The issue with duplicate content is getting one version filtered out - true penalties for duplicate content are extremely rare. If you use a cctld it will already be pre-targetted to that country in Webmaster Tools. In that case you WANT the other domain to be filtered out for search users within that country.
I've recently read various Google spokepeople recommending the same thing. Of course the content should still be localized for the country itself (currency, linguistic idioms etc) and not be an exact duplicate.
Thanks to everyone for the replies..