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just at the moment I noticed, that my site is #1 for keyword on google.com but only #7 on Google.de. As my site is a german site it should be the other way round.
As far as I understand Google, there should be some datacenters on which I am #1 and some on which I am #7, so the #1 seem to be served to .com and the #7 dc's to google.de
But there are no dc's (from the one's I know) where I am on #1, so what is it what makes me #1 on .com (and all non german googles) and #7 on all german googles (.de, .at, .ch)?
I thought rankings are related to the position on the dc's and not to the tld's?
It all seems to be realted to the language parameter in the URL.
I am #1, also on
BUT the standard german search URL is
and on this search query I am on #7.
So it all seems to be related to the "hl=" parameter.
Does anyone know what it exactly is?
I can think of the following possibilities:
1.) Geo Location
very unlikely since my server is located in germany.
2.) Google thinks my site is in english
also very unlikely because when searching for "german sites only" on google.de it comes up
hm, can't imagine this to be a factor, but who knows?
My tld is .info , top of me there are only .de sites.
4.) smth. on my site that makes google to rank my site lower on de searches.
pfff, what could that be? I have no idea at all.
But all in all it makes no sense at all to me to reduce a site's ranking on the searches of the language the site is written in, while in all other languages the site ranks higher.
Good question, and, as I've been harping on about for a while, one which illuminates other areas of the algorithm.
IMO, it's one of the confirmations for the whole disputed area of things like neighbourhood, related links, semantics, etc.
so do you think that google assumes my site is more useful to english - langauge users because of links from english websites for example?
But my site is written completely in german, so although I have some links from english websites most links are from german sites.
All websites above mine have the meta langauge tag in the header.
I have added it yesterday, can't be wrong but to be honest I can't imagine that this helps.
There is another site which is #8 on google.de?hl=de and #2 on google.de?hl=en. So this site has the same problem as I have. They also have no language tag on there site.
When disregarding our 2 sites the rankings are completley identical betwwen google.de?hl=de and google.de?hl=en
So I believe the reason you see different results is because both are fecthing from different datacenters. I believe you will continue to see different set of SERPs each day which different slightly.
126.96.36.199/search?q=search_term&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&lr= returns my site #1
188.8.131.52/search?q=search_term&ie=UTF-8&hl=de&lr= returns my site #7
So this difference is not related to the load balancing datacenter thing
So now we come to another problem, how does google identify a german site?
Does the TLD really play a role? I can't imagine that! We live in a global world, and good domains are rare so it would make no sense to discriminate domains with german content which are on a non german tld?!?!
Does anyone know how google determines the language of a website?
I would guess they do it by comparing text from the website to a dictionary?!?!
But then the tld would have no influence.