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If you do a site: search using Google UK's 'UK results only', the index pages of ten .com domains and three .net domains (out of 65 that I manage) are not listed.
1) All sites hosted in the UK across 4 different servers in 3 different DCs
2) No link exchanges, very little outward linking, no excessive inward linking. No inter-linking. These are not directories, MFA, affiliate. They are contact/services offered websites for UK companies and sole traders. Some are dynamic, some static. Size from under ten to under one hundred pages.
3) No canonical issues, no dupe content issues, no over-optimisation. I use the same techniques and links for all my sites. Number of affected sites has not grown since this problem was spotted. Unaffected sites re-cached this week.
4) Internal pages all listed AND RANKING for their terms.
Would other UK based webmasters like to share their experiences? Perhaps we can collectively contact Google and refer them to this thread.
A site:domainname search lists the pages in the site ok when performed in the default search, but lists all pages APART from the homepage when done with the 'pages from the UK' option. Also, a search for the domain name shows the homepage in the #1 slot in a default search, but a search for the domain name using the 'pages from the UK' option shows the same list, but no homepage anywhere.
The site is hosted in the UK on a shared IP, physically located in the UK. I have located other .coms on the same IP and their homepages show up fine when the domain name is searched for using the 'pages from the UK' option.
This has been the case for around 2 weeks now.
My own site (I only have one) was number one on UK only and number two on Worldwide for my keyword. Recently I am number one Worldwide and not ranked in the "pages from UK" - which seems the wrong way round. We are a UK based and orientated site offering UK services.
I hadn't put a lot of attention to using the term "UK" on my pages, since it felt good to have a worldwide ranking and you never know maybe someone big in the USA will spot me and buy me out (dreams!). But now maybe I need to make sure Google knows we are UK based?
Or do you think this is a glitch?
Can't quite get my head around that one.
Tried everything, no responses from any direct communications with anyone at Google.
We think its some kind of filter.
The index page was back to normal on 17 August (again no changes at this end), and stayed that way until this morning, when the same problem reappeared (yet again, no changes at this end). Again, only the index page is affected, and it is only affected (at the time of this post) on:
In the meantime, I have noticed the same thing has affected a competitor's site (also a UK supplier of a UK-only service, also .com), but the effect certainly isn't universal. We're both in the top 5 for main relevant search term internationally.
The effect - as far as I am concerned, anyway - is limited to UK-only searches on google.co.uk.
It looks to me as if Google is trying out some kind of filter (although why it should only affect the index page defeats me, unless it is a trial with intentionally limited scope).
Any more ideas out there?
Of the 14 sites out of 65 I manage that were affected (3 .nets and 11 .coms), 8 are now back.
Some of these I had worked on (links, new content, tweaks), some I hadn't. I think it's just a matter of time.
It looks to me as if Google is trying out some kind of filter
I think so. I recommend pointing out all instances to Google via the 'dissatisfied - help us improve' links after running your 'site:' search
When my index page "disappeared" in August it wasn't cached in some (the number varied) of Google DC's.
This time around it dropped out of the cache of only 4-5 DC's (and only for a few hours: it is now showing as cached in all of them), but still isn't indexed in UK-only searches. This time (again) only the index page is affected.
I still think it is Google trying out some kind of filter. I think they have modified it since the first time it affected me - possibly several times, by the way everyone else posting here has been variably affected - but I anticipate more temporary disorders before they either get it right or crash and burn.
As I've just posted on another board:
'The irony is that just this week I moved to UK hosting precisely to ensure a 'pages from the UK' presence. Within 24 hours of having done so, my homepage had indeed been indexed and placed at #4.
24 hours later it had gone - along with the homepages of the other .com's in the UK SERPs.'
-This is definitely a serious problem that Google needs to remedy. The #1 spot that was held by the same site for four years constantly has now been given to a significantly less relevant themed site.
The crazy thing is that as my industry is exclusively London-based, it's ridiculous that Google has implemented such a drastic change/mistake.
Let's hope that perhaps Googleguy would be kind enough to reply to this thread with some words of comfort!
Googleguy ... Bueller ... anyone?
That is very encouraging - thanks for letting us know. Let's hope the rest of us are so fortunate in the days to come.
That said, my homepage has a PR3 while most of the rest of the site is PR5 ...
Could this have anything to do with Google not liking the structure of the site?
I don't think this can have anything to do with it. My own index page already met those conditions (also having a couple of +44's, as well as British towns and placenames in H1). Also, the only .com still showing in my main keyword top-ten has nothing of this kind to distinguish it. If the filter is based on keywords or page content it is difficult to see how it is working.
I also have a lower PR for my index page than for internal pages (and this is fairly common on other sites too). I think this is a recent Google issue, and has nothing to do with site structure.
Google de-indexing the homepage of non .co.uk sites in UK-only searches - the main topic here - is what we are trying to figure out. For my own money (and it is costing me!) Google is messing with an algorithm intended to exclude false-positives from UK-only searches. There is good reason for them to do this, but until they get it right I think a lot of UK .com sites have a problem. I assume most people posting here are looking for and guessing at the basis for the way the algorithm works, but I don't think anyone has it yet, and I certainly don't.