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I have one problem term which is a for very UK market focused service. One of the words used has a very specific meaning in the UK and the US compilers of ontologies and dictionaries just don't get it.
The "Searches related to:" links appear on google.co.uk but not on .com. There are 8 links.
These links fall into 4 categories.
1. The same service for very closely related things. 2 links.
2. A term linked to the very broad theme of the ambiguous UK word. This could in tact be a direct link to an authority site because the term uses the name of a major authority and that site comes up #1 with site links when you click the related terms link.
3. Two links to narrower searches for things that are for specific problem areas which might cause people to return and refine their search anyway.
4. Three links associated with a miss-interpretation of what the term searched for actually means because Google is so US centric.
This last category has led to me re-evaluating competitor sites with this in mind and I've found that, whilst none of the top 10 actually use the same anchor text used in the 3 related terms links, every single one that is above me has a link with anchor text on the ranking page and another page on that subject that fits with Google's second guessing algorithm.
The reason I'm writing this is because I think it may help others. If you try and categorise your related terms and then re-evaluate your competitors do you see something that you were missing?
PS When will Google completely drop the confusion caused by using some element of US English in its UK semantics. Its as though they start with a US Ontology and then try to amend it to suit the UK but miss out a few vital alterations. Its like a book that has not been proof read and so is full of errors.
whilst none of the top 10 actually use the same anchor text used in the 3 related terms links, every single one that is above me has a link with anchor text on the ranking page and another page on that subject that fits with Google's second guessing algorithm.
I've also seen this - and yet in some cases, trying to force it has led to a drop in rankings, at least for a while. In one case it even triggered a short term -950. The key is not to try to force one single page to rank for all the "related to" searches.
Rather than use the terms returned in the searches related to links I'm suggesting that you look for things on your competitor pages that are "a bit like" what those links are suggesting.
In my case three of the link anchor texts contain brand names. Those brand names do not offer the service being searched for but they do offer something else that you could see why Google might mistakenly think was related. All of the pages that rank above me contain that general term that Google mistook as related and I'm starting to conclude that this might explain the inexplicable in terms of why the heck such poor sites jumped to the top of SERPS for a competitive term and stuck there.
I just think that if you think very broad about the searches related to then you start to see things that previously you overlooked. Particularly if you have any that look out of place.