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Our site has excellent quality and quantity inbound links from international sites (1xPR7, 4xPR6, to name a few and also yahoo directory listings and business organizations in the target niche) as well as good internal link structure. More and better links than the top SERP results. We have never spammed in any sense.
The site is a .ie domain and has existed since late 1999. Our title tags are good as far as I can see but we still have this terrible ranking in Google.com for our target keyword phrase. Is there some penalty that we are not aware of and some way of detecting one?
I suspected that we don't rank well in SERPS because of our .ie domain name and hosting in the UK but I notice that there are very high ranking sites in the google.com search results pages that have country TLDs, fewer quality and quantity of links and younger in terms of years on the web.
ps. we would change from our .ie TLD as a last resort or change to a keyword based domain name but would prefer to use other tactics.
I'd try getting links from US-hosted sites before I'd change the TLD. Changing domains would cost you a chunk of time and then some.
Robert - I think you're right. I checked the competitors in the SERPS for our keyword phrase. There is only one company with a country TLD in the top 100 google listings and that company has over 800 really high quality inbound links compared to our 72 medium-to-high quality links. Acquiring that number of inbound links is extremely difficult and expensive in our industry and would probably take several years.
Time to consider moving to a .com. Ouch!
thank you both!
Time to consider moving to a .com.
Again, changing domains is not to be done lightly.
I'd first check the backlinks the of the .com competition, to see what links they've needed to get where they are.
Something I wouldn't ordinarily suggest, but you might want to consider before dropping your .ie domain, would be to build a second site on a .com, with new content. Eventually, if you don't care about Irish and UK rankings, you might want to move your .ie content to it... but don't just switch cold to a new .com. I hear doing this is not as bad as it used to be, but it used to be really bad.
Take your case, in theory hosting in the UK will help in G.co.uk through inclusion in the "Pages from the UK" listings, but that doesn't apply to foreign ccTLDs.
I will soon do a UK version of my .com and I plan on doing it uk.myname.com (and of course use G's goetargeting) so I get the "it's local" effect for the users (uk.) and the benefits of a great name. If I had the .co.uk, I'd use that, but I do not so ...