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What triggers regional "web search" results?

     
9:41 pm on Jul 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On the regional Gs we get local pages featuring top 10/20 on some terms but not for others.

There are relevant local pages for the search terms, so why would G not show them?

2:29 am on July 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I recently had a play with trying to find the triggering factor in the query - and I'm mystified. I can only assume that they've been trying the top 10 for different searches and measuring the user response, building up a kind of artifical intelligence. It certainly isn't some simple yes-or-no logic.
6:15 am on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As I've said before, I can only assume that it is the click-through ratio/user response.

For example, if a user searches for "Isaac Newton" on google.com.au, then there will be no Australian results in the top 10 in "the web" results, as this is more an information, country non-specific search.

However, if a user searches for say "widget insurance" then I can bet that all of the results in the top 10 will be Australian, as the user is likely to be wanting information or even purchase widget insurance, and as we all know, widget insurance differs from country to country.

It didn't always used to be like this, as a couple of years ago, US .com's and .net's dominated the SERPs for regional "the web" results. Over time, more and more local sites came into "the web" results and now for albeit more encyclopedic searches, it is not uncommon to see between 8 and 10 local sites on the first page of "the web" results.

Other theories include:

- links from local sites
- outbound links to local sites
- number of "citations" or mentions on local sites (not necessarily links)
- Google local business center listing

10:01 am on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well on G.ie I get 4/10 Irish pages for "widget" but 0/30 for "widget blogs", so something is keeping Irish pages out of those results.