This is extremely bizarre, and I've been scratching my head to figure it out for a while. What kind of "filter" or added scoring could be getting mixed in for google.co.uk.? All I can think of is some kind of LocalRank calculation [patft1.uspto.gov]. Possibly there aren't enough backlinks from other ranking sites in that UK SERP.
That is only an educated guess, but it's the best I've got to offer.
Study the UK competition. Who's ahead of you and why?
|Who's ahead of you and why? |
Doorway/inner pages of some decent sites. Doorway/inner pages of some less decent sites. Then some MFAs (that have Pagerank but no backlinks showing). Actually, it was very strange that it was all inner pages for the first 100 or so results.
I have no idea why they are ahead of me on Google.co.uk but not on other tlds. The pages ranking do not have backlinks of their own and there are plenty of other .coms ranking well amongst the .co.uks
It is an advertising phrase that all companies in the UK use to advertise this product. Could this be a manual filter to get these companies to buy Adwords? They are paying £30+ per click at the moment.
is your server based in the UK ?
|is your server based in the UK ? |
Like I said in the original post:
|It's a .com site but with UK IP address and location set to UK in Webmaster Tools. |
You can't get a UK IP on servers outside the UK can you?
The site used to have a US IP address with the previous owner but I changed it to UK back in Oct 07. Still, my IP address isn't Indian, German, French, Canadian or anything else and I rank top in all those Google.tlds - why just the UK?
The only factor I can think of is UK firms will be the only ones that would actually use PPC for this phrase. No other country. So Google devalues commercial sites in the UK if the phrase is country-specific to force Adwords buys?
My guess is you have a better international linkage profile than your UK competitors but a worse UK one, how does the site do in the "Pages from the UK" results?
|how does the site do in the "Pages from the UK" results? |
Even worse in UK pages search. But I'm not sure I understand. You mean if:
- we have 1000 one-way backlinks but only 20% of them are from the UK
then Google.co.uk will rank inner pages of other sites:
- with no external backlinks to that page but 10-20 reciprocal backlinks to the main page with 50% of those backlinks being from the UK (one example of the #2 spot but rest are pretty similar)
Surely that can't be the case? Google.com ranks #2 in Google.co.uk and I'm sure it has a higher percentage of international links. They don't show inner pages of other people's sites that mention Google.com under a search for "Google".
As a UK site you need to improve your positions in "PFUK" to rank in the "web search" results on G.uk, and some relevant anchor text from UK links may well help there.
Having said that IMO the "Pages from Ireland" results have been all over the shop for some time now...
A curiosity, we have an About Us page:
and we have news articles and press releases at:
the news articles are indexed fine but in six months the actual /about.php page which is linked to from every page on the site (just like /search.php, /contact.php etc.) has NEVER been indexed.
How do you do if you add UK to the search term?
For example blue widgets uk
|How do you do if you add UK to the search term? |
Hmmm, weird. For "keywordphrase uk":
Google.co.uk (The Web) #29
Google.co.uk (UK Pages) #21
So we are lower on Google.com if you add the "uk" but much, much higher if you add the UK for Google.co.uk searches compared to without it ... I hope you have some sort of suggestion based on your question! ;)
Can't really offer a suggestion. I think that the .co.uk filter is being faffed with at the moment strange stuff happening but it seems to be for specific terms that have high value on Adwords.
When you add uk to the term or pluralise it the results go back to what they should be.
For some reason Google continues with the pretence that Adwords and organic results are completely separate. Clearly organic results are tweaked and manipulated to create more Adwords $'s.
|Clearly organic results are tweaked and manipulated to create more Adwords $'s. |
Guess what type of ads are on the newly ranking pages too ...
I've experienced similar issues, but for a much longer period. I've operated a .com website for four years, the site is hosted in the UK.
However a peculiar geographical ranking issue has caused me much hair pulling since the site was launched.
Essentially, I'm a UK based business but offer recruitment services to companies worldwide for a particular industry sector. However when I search on google.co.uk for a selection of phrases related to my site, the home page alone always seems to be ranked considerably lower than when searching on google.com.
I've read through some related forum postings and note the importance of UK hosting for a .com domain - the site has been hosted in the UK on a dedicated IP since launch. Hosted with a leading UK hosting firm and have checked the IP is a UK ip and the server is hosted in a London datacenter.
The site also has a good number of links from UK sites which haven't been cultivated, the links have just developed over time.
The site is listed when the pages from UK search filter is applied, but causes the site to be ranked even lower.
When I search for the company name on pages from the UK, it ranks it no1 (home page), so doesn't appear to be that google is not determining it as a UK site, its just it ranks it lower on google.co.uk for phrases related to the home page of the site.
For instance a search on google.com for a phrase related to site 'z jobs', (z being the industry sector the site specialises in)
google.com - page 4
google.co.uk - page 28
google.co.uk (pages from the UK) - page 32
Interestingly, for searches relating to pages other than the home page, the site ranks as you would expect.
For instance a search for 'z jobs in x' - (with x being a location) lists the relevant page e.g. site.com/location as follows:
google.com page 1 position 5
google.co.uk page 1 position 4
google.co.uk (pages from UK) page 1 position 2
So in my case the problem of a lower ranking on google.co.uk only applies to the home page.
|...but in six months the actual /about.php page which is linked to from every page on the site.... |
I read here recently that you should link pages with poor conversion rates (about, contact, disclaimer etc) once from the index normally and then from the other pages with "nofollow" to save wasting "link juice" and so it can be passed around elsewhere to boost other pages.
[edited by: Simsi at 10:35 pm (utc) on April 16, 2008]
add your listing in google maps.
Related question. I have the .co.uk version:
1. Would a 301 redirect of that domain to the .com give Google more "UK knowledge"?
2. Would a 301 from the .com to the .co.uk devalue the current inbound links I have in any way or is it a 100% switch?
3. Does using the .co.uk give a boost to rankings in the UK?
I have a .co.uk hosted in the US (by accident on shared hosting by a dumb reseller who doesn't know what he is doing).
For example for our top 2 word target term it is ranked #19 on Google.co.uk AND #48 on Google.com
For a 3 word term that we target it is #9 on .co.uk and #14 on .com
Searching "pages from the UK" has no effect on these serps on Google.co.uk
I wonder if you're making the correct comparisons with the google.com results?
When using google.com from an IP outside the US, I'm pretty sure the results are skewed in some way, and I would suggest that if you're doing a search with a UK IP they'll be skewed with a slight bias towards UK sites. And your site might thus show up with good placement.
Try searching with the &gl=us parameter as suggested in this thread [webmasterworld.com]
It's possible that you see your site higher in the .com results because of the bias, when in fact a search from a US IP would show it in a similar place to the UK results.
Try it anyway. I'm not suggesting this is the complete cause of the problem, but it might be worth looking at.
|When using google.com from an IP outside the US, I'm pretty sure the results are skewed in some way, and I would suggest that if you're doing a search with a UK IP they'll be skewed with a slight bias towards UK sites. |
Searched Google.ca with a Canadian IP, results the same (#4)
Searched Google.com with a US IP, results the same (#3)
Searched Google.com and added &gl=us, dropped 8 places to #11 which is still hundreds of places higher than on Google.co.uk ... which brings us to your point:
|And your site might thus show up with good placement. |
I don't have a good placement, that's the whole weird thing. I rank way, way down for UK searches.
Now for the weird ones:
Searched Google.co.uk with a US IP address (still #256)
Searched Google.co.uk and added &gl=us, I rank #11 i.e. the same as on Google.com
I'm getting very lost now. This has to be a manual filter for high value terms. That is the only way to explain why UK IP searches on the UK Google don't display the same sites (the ones that match the keyphrase!) as if you are not from the UK. You are being pushed to click the £30-£50 per click sponsored ads instead.