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Getting a UK site listed in UK searches

UK listing - best way forward?



1:38 pm on Jul 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Guys & Gals question?

Currently running a UK based site www.widget.net, at the moment we have a super placement on google for some of our most important keywords.
Im a bit of a newbie 2 the game but on taking the site over ive noticed that if u try and filter any engine searches by UK sites (eg www.google.co.uk etc) we simply don’t exist.
Now the question, I have been led to believe that the only way get UK listings is to either use a .co.uk or to have the site hosted on a UK based server – now im quite happy with my space (activehost) so im now considering the co.uk, we are extremely happy about the current site and don’t wasn’t 2 upset anything so id really like to keep the current site up. We already own www.widget.co.uk and it simply links through. What would the best next step be – get another set of space for widget.co.uk and duplicate the site? Or try and get them to share the dns address?

Next concerns about the duplication of the site and the bots ignoring the .co.uk as a duplicate?

Grr - So time consuming……
Thanks in advance for the help,

[edited by: 4eyes at 1:52 pm (utc) on July 7, 2003]


12:39 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Welcome to WebmasterWorld, olof_bailey

Its a tricky one.

What I'd do as a long term solution, is set up the .co.uk site on UK hosting and try to change as many of your incoming links as possible.

Then use robots.txt on the .com site to send googlebot away.

Before chosing the UK host, check that other sites on their servers actually show on google.co.uk - best be on the safe side, things ain't always what they say.


7:53 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How important is the UK hosting company if im using a co.uk, we were considering using the same American provider as for our other sites as have been very satisfied with their service. (I thought the UK ip was secondary for if u didn’t have a .uk)

If not can anyone suggest a good UK based ASP provider - cost is pretty key 2 -

Cheers 4 ur help ;)


8:30 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>How important is the UK hosting company if im using a co.uk

Very I've just moved a .com from a US hosting company to a UK one and I'm starting to show on .co.uk already


8:40 am on Jul 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yea yea - but if im going 2 put up a mirror site of widget.co.uk?


9:38 pm on Jul 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

For any sites targeting the UK I always go for the UK based hosting AND a .co.uk.

I can't risk a sites success on the quality of Google's geo-filtering.


8:14 am on Jul 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ahh cheers guys - been really helpful! - next question, having setup this mirror - what is the best way of going about ensuring we dont get penalised for site dupliction - It woul dbe preferable if we could keep the .net in the search engines as it is our secondary plan to use this site to sell in euros while the .co.uk sells in £?

Cheers in advance



8:55 am on Jul 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

about ensuring we dont get penalised for site dupliction

The short answer is 'don't have duplicate content'.

If you need both sites to be included in Google then make sure the content is different.

'How different' is the next question, I guess. I can't help here as I don't have any near duplicate sites to refer to.

I believe that changing the link structure is as important as changing the words, but have no specific evidence of my own to draw on.


9:19 am on Jul 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

* ...changing the link structure...*
4eyes, do you mean changing the filenames?


9:52 am on Jul 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nah - just make sure that the two sites have different outgoing and internal links.

I believe there is evidence that they look at the link map of a site as part of their dupe checking algo.


11:51 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

well I've heard that using .co.uk to achieve better uk search results gets you nowhere because google doesn't pay attention to the domain extension (com/net/org/uk etc) its simply checks the IP address of the server or something.

I'm a bit rusty, I don't fully remember but I hear that .co.uk gets you nowhere



8:03 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It's true that the server IP does give the search engines an indication of the site location. It is inferred by the IP that the site should show up in the country-related SERPs.

To be certain, follow these rules:-

For a .com you should host in the country you want to target. If targeting the UK, host in the UK, and if targeting Germany host the .com in Germany. The .com will show up in the filtered SERPs.

For a .co.uk and targeting the UK, host in the UK so the results show up in the UK filtered SERPs. If you host a .co.uk in the US or Germany it will show up in their SERPs.

Other factors such as country-specific directory listings will contribute to geolocation identification.

Think carefully where you decide to host your site first and foremost, whatever its suffix.


5:51 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Lets not forget the other engines that have less than perfect geo-filtering - Inktomi for example.

If you are going for the UK market - go for the .co.uk AND Uk hosting.


4:26 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Your getting alot of mixed replies.. at this point your probs more confused then b4 you asked the question, and no doubt for your own sanity wishing you never bothered to ask :O)

Somethings said I might agree with, and some of it just makes me laugh.

Best thing to do is get some facts.. last thing you wanna do is get any facts older then yesterday, so dont bother searching for answers that where written gawd knows when or someone saying I read some where a while back.. no offence to anyone but the algo has shifted a fair bit in the past, but having said that I do think its kinda settled down now.

Easiest thing is have alookie at what your competitors are doing.. take the keyword "uk widgets" on google.co.uk.. this is what im seeing, your resuls may vary.


(Moderator note: example changed to protect the innocent ;) )

Out of those 10 listings im seeing this patern..

All sites are tld .co.uk

5 usa
4 uk
1 germany

Top rank by country:
USA Rank 1
Germany Rank 2
UK Rank 3

That tells me best thing I could do is get a .co.uk tld, leave it hosted where I want it.

[edited by: engine at 8:07 am (utc) on July 25, 2003]
[edit reason] widgetised -See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]


6:04 am on Jul 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Most search engines filter on the cctld when they are generating the indices for specific countries. If you are targeting the UK, then the safest bet is to use a .uk domain.

From my own work in the field, sorting based on IP is not reliable enough as there are too many inaccuracies to rely on it alone to precisely match the website with the country. (It could be a UK website hosted on US IP space for example.)

The rule of thumb seems to be if you are going to target a country's audience, then get a cctld as well as the .com and put distinct content on the country website.



3:14 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Cheers guys!
Phew – was getting scared there – mmm – somewhere down the middle of the feedback I opened a new set of space for our .co.uk domain, but still on our American (reliable) host. When I setup this account it was with the view of duplicating the site on the .co.uk and the changing the .net to run in euros… Then I froze –duplication- scared ****less in short that I would loose all of my listing through having duplicate sites – what is the best way forward – In my simplified world I really really want to keep the .net up there as I’m extremely happy with its position and cant really afford any SE downtime whilst the .co.uk is picking up what again would be my best bet.

Cheers as always
Learning …..


4:39 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

mmmmm...read all of the above and nice advice guys but I think ive got 2 nice simple answers to the question:

1. My experience is that G UK takes longer to update than G worldwide, so it might just be taking a little bit longer to get updated.

2. Now, I do swear by this technique regardless of anyone else's opinon, but i have found if you submit to [google.co.uk...] rather than [google.com...] you get ranked faster again in the UK. I know the pages look the same and ive heard so many people saying they do the same thing but not in my experience. Might have been co-incidence but give it a shot anyway.

And as a wrapup I recommend not creating another UK site etc. Simply register .co.uk of your site so nobody else can take it. Focus and promote one domain name only. Recommedations 1 and 2 will sort your problem..its all nice and easy really.


6:11 pm on Jul 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Aquanuke - I can't agree with you.

The advice I gave is very current and is based on specific examples amongst 250+ sites which I manage.

Hosting outside the UK can lead to a site being classed as 'not UK'.

If you are targeting the UK, why take risks?

To be safe, the best advice is host in the UK on a .co.uk domain name.

If you absolutely must use non-uk hosting, why not run a test page on a disposible .co.uk domain - it not going to cost that much to prove the point.


11:20 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would just like to echo what 4eyes has said.

We handle over 1000 UK clients and have found that on Google a .uk and UK hosting is the only way to guarantee that your site is classified as UK.

The content needs to be UK specific and different to the .net/.com and relevant - after all that is what search engines are trying to achieve. In my opinion that is doing many sites down as they don't know to host in the UK.

As for non-Google sites, a .uk is critical - especially Inktomi.

I also know that some of the main indexes use the whois data to work out if the domain is used in UK - but not Google.


11:30 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Use a completely different structural navigation and content diversification to the site (uk site) to the .com, however using various key components. Search engines are smart, but content and navigational restructuring are not a strong point, with different incoming links, should solve the problem.

Unless its a UK business ONLY, i ain't seen one that can be defined to one particular country, but hey - if thats the case - 4eyes advice is spot on.


11:48 pm on Jul 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I totally agree, in reality all you need to do is offer content that is not duplicate of the .com domain.

That content can just be different structure and links - even though you are having to jump through hoops for search engines just to say that your site is relevant to the UK as well.


12:09 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


different structure and links - agreed.

But one can go way beyond that into the territory of designing and structurally navigating content into the unknown. Its an area, i've been into for a while now, and it works. Links are not that important if your content, and sales pitch also become a serious information point for the industry that you are serving, and trying to make money from.

The engine's seem to love it, good solid content - recognisable brand - great navigation (easy crawl - easily surfed website). It works, i'm more interested in how someone moves around the site, and buy's, or not, than worying about links.

I'm a very firm beliver that a PR5 is available to all that can build a website of such integrity and authority that not just G, but the rest can't deny. And with a few links, that the limit is an industry specific limit that G places on the 'said' industry / which it does - can affect most - but keeps the affiliates away from the manufacturers, though they are dealing from the same pack of cards.


if your planning to sort out a new setup from what you have read here, then yes difinitely a new space is a good thing, wahts today - maybe not tomorrow, but if the cash is available buying a bit of space is no hard deal (drop me a sticky got a good place to suggest)/ playing both markets is a skill, assuming Uk v's USA, Australia, NZ, SA, Canada, etc? worth learning.


12:29 am on Jul 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

caine, that sums it up for me.

It comes down to the fact that content needs to be directed to the visitors that will be using the site.

The site needs to become important for people to want to visit - that is what makes a site stay in the SERPS long term. That is what a lot of site owners/promoters want to overlook.


7:17 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

New member, first post - be gentle with me people!

I can give a current example: we have a top ranked site on Google 'UK sites only' which is a .com. On Yahoo.co.uk it has the same top ranking for 'all of the Web'. However, try searching Yahoo 'UK sites only' and it disappears. Then look at its listing in the Yahoo Directory and Yahoo lists it in the UK. In other words, the Directory part of Yahoo knows it's a UK site, but the Search part thinks it's not, as it filters Google's results to show ONLY .co.uk sites.

If your client is doing biz in the UK, you need a .co.uk to show up in 'UK sites only' searches in Yahoo. The same's true of AoL.

On the subject of IP geolocation, we have another client site (a .com) which wasn't showing in any UK results - Google, Yahoo, whatever. The hosting company had a UK address and was a ltd company (in leafy Surrey, of all places!) and the client therefore thought they were dealing with a UK company. However, checking the IP address using a free geolocation site showed that the client's site was hosted in the US. Further investigation proved that the hosting co's physical address in Surrey was no more than an accommodation address.

We changed host and it now appears in Google's 'UK sites only' searches.

The conclusion I reached is that it's essential to be hosted in the UK and to be a .co.uk if you want to do business here.

Sorry this was long - will try to be more concise in future!


7:37 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

>To be safe, the best advice is host in the UK on a .co.uk domain name.

Agreed. IMHO - anyone who is a UK company wishing to sell in the UK (as well as elsewhere) is just plain silly not to follow the above advice!


8:10 am on Aug 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

You've discovered exactly the point being made by the professionals in this thread. In your example, the service provider was not necessarily being dishonest, it's just that they, and most people, don't realise the value of the IP and domain in relation to the search services.

Enjoy your membership of WebmasterWorld.


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