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UK Search and Internet Marketing News Forum

Do .com's not rank so well in UK
Dot com websites not ranking as well in the UK

 10:25 pm on Feb 15, 2009 (gmt 0)


This is my first every post on WW. I have read many over my time online.

I have a website that is hosted in the UK on a .com domain. In google.com the site is within the first page for some search terms, however, in google.co.uk it is not in the top 100 for the same term? Any Ideas?

my website is UK based. I now own the .co.uk in the domain, however, this has never run live. Is there anyway I can use the .co.uk of my domain to influence my .coms position within the UK. Or has anyone any other ideas.

I have the .com site running about a year and it is several hundred links now pointing at it.

Any ideas would be welcome.




 11:13 pm on Feb 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would say that if the domian is definitely hosted in the UK then it should perform fine in the UK results.

Check the RIPE database to ensure that the IP address the domain is hosted on is a UK domain. Some 'UK' hosts have IP addresses that resolve to Holland or Germany when you check the RIPE DB.

If it is a UK IP address then make sure you have some links from UK based sites as this should help Google identify that the site is targetting the UK.


 11:25 pm on Feb 15, 2009 (gmt 0)


Thanks for your reply!

It is hosted with one of the better UK hostings. I have my other sites on the same hosting.

For one search term in google.com I am 7th and for the same term in the UK its down in the 90s. Very strange.

I was wondering if to 301 the site to the .co.uk would be an idea, but I would loose all the link values to my .com/

[edited by: IanTurner at 11:56 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2009]
[edit reason] hosting recommendation removed [/edit]


 12:02 am on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't recommend a 301 redirect from .com to .co.uk unless you are only targetting the UK market.

Your best bet is to check your IP here
to make sure it is UK.

Also be aware that, if the rankings on google.com are new, it may take a few days for the rankings to propagate to the .co.uk - I have seen this happen on a number of occasions recently.


 12:12 am on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank once again. I will checkout ripe.

For my site it is only UK traffic I am needing as it is an affiliate site.

Thanks :)

I will let you know the outcome of ripe etc.


 12:41 am on Feb 16, 2009 (gmt 0)


I check site all is showing up for UK. I will hold fire for now and see if what you say about .co.uk more or less catching up with .com!

Thanks for your advise.



 2:51 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I understand that there is no SEO issue over using .com with a UK hosted site. The main thing that I wonder about is type in traffic. Is there any research on user behaviour? Do UK custmers expect Example plc to be at example.com or example.co.uk?


 3:52 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Do UK custmers expect Example plc to be at example.com or example.co.uk?

Given that in practice there's a lot examples of both extensions when it comes to major UK companies, it probably depends which Brits you ask. .co.uk definitely outnumbers .com in my British directory, but that's a small sample and likely biased.


 4:06 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think .co.uk has become more popular for UK Corporations over the years - for the most part nowadays I would say it is about 50/50 between .com and .co.uk for customer expecting the website to be there.


 8:00 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)


This for me is becoming real strange. My domain name is a search term. I did a search on google.com for my domain name, It was 11th, however, on google.co.uk I am not in the top 100?

I am so confused over this as the best wat to go, I have the .co.uk in the domain so do I 301 the .com to the .co.uk to improve my UK searches.

It is only UK Traffic my site needs.

I am thinking if I 301 the .com to the .co.uk I will loose all my link values etc, my site is currently a PR4 with PR3 internal pages.

Any Suggestions, Ideas or General Thoughts?


 9:51 am on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

No idea about the best route to fix the problem but G definitely thinks that you are American.


 4:20 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

You should not need to switch to the .co.uk

Check what the IP shows up when you look up the site.


 4:44 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

The ip shows as UK.

I feel the dot com address is the only thing that cam be hurting it in UK searches. I had read on a random website that .coms where getting filtered down the lists for different industries as a way to make more relevant UK searches. How reliable this info was or is, is anyones guess?

It is only G that my results are so different. In the other 2 main search engines its position in UK and US are simular!

If I could list the same in the UK G listings like G.com's I would dramatically increase relevant traffic and double my traffic.

For my website industry, when I do random searches in G the top 10 positions are always .co.uk sites.

What I noticed today I explored a little..
Typing in "Holiday" in G.co.uk the top 10 are .co.uk sites
Typing in "Mobile" the top 10 are .co.uk sites
However, "insurance" returns all the big hitters that have money to burn and .coms are all taking the top spots.

So again I am like a dog chasing my tail, how do I improve the UK results in G.

My fear is spending more and more time, money and effort on this site for it to end up becoming a waste.

I have been told G's UK results will mirror the .com results if the site is hosted in UK etc. Has anyone any experience here?


 12:03 pm on Feb 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

It looks like the other search engines have correctly identified that your site is from the UK, but Google has not.

There could be a number of reasons for this.

1. The IP address that your site is hosted on is not seen as UK by Google. i.e. Google's IP-Country DB is out of date or incorrect for your IP.

Can you identify any other domains on that IP address?

2. Links to your site are predominently not from the UK which may suggest to Google that the site is not intended for the UK market.

3. The language of the site is not English.

4. You have set a character set in the meta tags that is not latin alphabet.

and so on.


 2:52 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am having the exact same issue as you. I have a UK based site that has been running for over a year, always on UK hosting, but sits on a .com domain.

I rank well with Google.com, fantastically with Yahoo for competitive terms, but horrendously with Google.co.uk.

I have my target location set as UK in my webmaster tools, and always have done, but for some reason Google thinks I am American.

I have over 7,000 inbound links, the vast majority from UK sites, including a fair few .org and .gov sites and I am just at my wits end with it.

The ONLY thing I can think to do at this point is to 301 redirect it to my co.uk domain, but the potential consequences of doing this scare me. I am unsure if I would need to get my links redirected manually to my co.uk domain or whether the power of them would be automatically transferred.

I deeply regret ever sitting my site on its .com domain.....


 3:14 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi Laurafyp

On a smaller not very important site of mine I changed it from .com to a .co.uk with a 301, the ranking improved greatly. However, for a larger, more successful site the prospects of doing so is scary!

Do you sit and wait to see if your .com sites uk listing catches up with g's .com or do you bite the bullet and change over.

If i could get G .com results in the UK results I would tripple my traffic I feel with relevant searches. But would the 301 cause some form of upset and the site end up no where. Incoming link values etc are all tricky issues. Is it the case of half a cake is better than none?

Obviously google want to give what they feel is the most accurate results. So perhaps depending on the industry you and I are involved in they feel a .co.uk is more relevant.

When you do a search for your most popular results in G .co.uk do you find the first page is full of .co.uk domains. I know mine are, so perhaps this is the only answer to 301 the .com to the .co.uk. Scary step..


 3:47 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yep, it is indeed a scary prospect!

And yes at least 90% of the top searches for my main keywords pull up .co.uk domains as the highest listing- there is only 1 .com I can think of and that site has been around for 8+ years...

If it is indeed a case of waiting for .co.uk to catch up- just how long are we talking here!? Weeks, months, years...?!

I also run a related blog site which sits on a co.uk domain, it often ranks above my main site in many UK searches...

The more I think on it the more it seems I will have to switch over if Im ever going to crack the UK market, but I am so scared in case it turns out to be a huge mistake!


 9:43 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is a tummy churner!

It is my hope the .co.uk will level with the .com. However, I would not bet on it happening. I have been ready to redirect the .com to the .co.uk several times. But the fear of the whole thing going belly up has made me play the waiting game.

I feel that our sites hosted in the UK is not paying any weight and perhaps now the .co.uk domains will always be seen much better for regional type searching within many industries.

I am getting about 45% UK searches, so I am profiting from with .com, just not as much as I should!

I only need uk searches, so its a bad mistake to have set of with the .com.

Equally it could be a mistake to redirect to the .co.uk. A friend told me they redirect 2 sites from com .co.uk and one pushed to the next level, but the other went up the river.

To run the site on a .co.uk from .com would need a fair amount of work relinking Internal if you have many pages with linking in text etc.

Personally i think I will hold fire for a few months and continue to monitor listing position. It is annoying to rank in the top spots on the .com, but not in top hundred for same terms on .co.uk.

If you changed over and your visitors reduced would it financially screw the site much for you? This current site for me is earning about 2k profit from its organic search listing per month, so its quite a bit to gamble with.


 8:31 am on Jun 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have you tried geo-targetting the .com site for the UK in Google's Webmaster Tools? It will take a little time to kick in, but it might help.

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