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UK Google SERP Changes - August 2008

     
10:20 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Has anyone noticed on some queries when "Pages from UK" is selected, that pages that are not from the UK are returned?

In one instance wikipedia shows up in the "Pages from UK" results. I've stumbled across this with a couple of queries.

[edited by: tedster at 2:28 pm (utc) on Aug. 1, 2008]

10:33 pm on July 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes - I've even occasionally seen country-specific TLDs returned as "from the UK", even when they are not in English and are hosted in their native land. Big data-sets get messed up from time to time.

But Wikipedia almost sounds intentional and not a glitch, doesn't it?

12:41 am on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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...Wikipedia...

Just to play devil's advocate (and I should note that this is complete speculation)...

Could this be because Wikipedia has enough inbound links from the UK that those suffice to include it in UK results?

9:55 am on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Could this be because Wikipedia has enough inbound links from the UK that those suffice to include it in UK results?

No, I am seeing .com.au URLs in "Pages from UK" and .co.uk URLs in "Pages from Australia".

Something is definitely wrong, which isn't surprising since Google has had so many geo-targeting issues in the past.

10:05 am on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the problem is that widespread for AU/UK results though. I currently see only a tiny percentage of mismatched sites:

4 com.au sites in "pages from the UK" [google.co.uk]
8 co.uk sites in "pages from Australia" [google.com.au]

I think a number of Wikipedia servers are physically in the UK, incidentally.

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 10:07 am (utc) on July 31, 2008]

11:10 am on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I currently see only a tiny percentage of mismatched sites:

Thing is, none of the mismatched sites are listed in either of the searches, plus most of the .co.uk in google.com.au are Australian sites.

What I have found regarding the mismatches:

- only apply to certain queries, eg "purple widgets" may returned mismatched results, but "2 purple widgets" are fine.
- apply to all regional Googles. eg - searches on google.ca return .com.au and .co.uk results.
- low traffic searches so far.

11:39 am on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It may be more widespread than this. In recent weeks i reported AU results in ZA ; .COM results in UK .

I'm willing to believe something is going on with a new geo based algo and it's in the early stages of testing.

12:24 pm on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm willing to believe something is going on with a new geo based algo and it's in the early stages of testing.

I'm betting it's just another geo-targeting bug.

6:00 pm on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm betting it's just another geo-targeting bug.

Which has returned for my Seattle server and it's now decided all these UK registered .coms are back in South Africa...again! It's been like this all year back and forth, crazy.

2:40 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I checked out a couple of those country-specific tlds that are showing in UK-only results, and not one of them had a UK IP address or a UK whois connection, or any unusual proportion of UK backlinks, for that matter.

Apparently fixing the "from country" results is not currently a high priority at Google. Seems like almost anything, including requiring a UK tld, would be better than this kind of error. Yes, the problem is complex, with some hosts using IP blocks outside the "real" country and so on - but that doesn't explain this extended problem.

4:47 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@receptional andy :

Could it not be possible that a .com.au site has targetted co.uk in google webmasters tools ?

4:51 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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heres some cosolidation

When you click on the first one ( co.uk in the .com.au list ) it takes you to a com.au site

none of the australian ones have been english though.

4:56 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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try south africa

- go to google.co.za and enter a site:co.uk query for pages from South Africa - 239 urls are returned right now

[edited by: tedster at 5:51 pm (utc) on Aug. 1, 2008]
[edit reason] I paraphrased the specific search link [/edit]

8:08 pm on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Whatever about geo-targeting bugs there's no way a non-UK ccTLD SHOULD turn up in the "Pages from the UK" results...
1:34 pm on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ok, 10 yr old UK registered .com and always UK hosted brochure site.

I have written before about its yo-yoing, ins-and-outs etc and Google creating a duplicate site with exampleexample.com rather than the always used example-example.com.

I decided a while back to go through every site link and hard code everything as example-example.com since the site could not even be found for comany name + region. All this was eventually sorted out earlier this week.

In the last couple of days I have noticed this for keyword1 keyword2 region:

1. Using Google.com - nothing

2. Using Google.com UK version - #1

3. Using Google.co.uk - #1

4. Using Google.co.uk - pages from the UK - #1

Now to wait and see as all the new coding etc works its way through the cached pages.

Fingers crossed but it least its back for the moment for its two most important keywords plus region.

12:13 am on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't this is a UK specific problem with GEO targeting filters.

It's happening in other areas and i reported on another thread .AU results appearing in .ZA. I'm sure it's more widespread than this given this small sample.

[edited by: Whitey at 12:14 am (utc) on Aug. 3, 2008]

2:55 am on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yep...and your point is what?

Geo-targetting is screwed-up?

I have HUGE global metrics however I am seeing extremely focussed targetting too. To the ridiculous extreme IMHO.

Tweaks tweaks and more tweaks...better than cuil though:-)

9:56 am on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Let's say , it's probably under testing with a few hitches [ my speculation ]. Maybe it will be one of the areas to be revealed in Ben Gomes' forthcoming update on Google experiments mentioned over here : here [googleblog.blogspot.com]

In the next post in this series, I'll talk about some of the experiments we are running, and what we hope to learn from them.

[edited by: tedster at 8:01 am (utc) on Aug. 4, 2008]
[edit reason] fix spelling [/edit]

12:31 pm on Aug 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, I am seeing .com.au URLs in "Pages from UK" and .co.uk URLs in "Pages from Australia".

Well, they're both under the same crown. ;)

I have checked a few similar queries and found several plain (302) redirects from one to another tld, so I guess in many cases it is geo-cloaking at work.

Also, a few registrant's addresses from the second country and even a contact email address on about us page (tld part).

12:50 pm on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One of my sites was ranking well in the SERPS for past 6 months(UK Search). In July suddenly the ranks disappeared,and then they bounced back, but every weekend the ranks used to disappear in SERPS. Now every alternate day I am loosing the ranks and then regaining position. Loosing the rank here refers to the site completely disapearing in the SERPS and then suddenly the next day all ranks come back.What do you think might be the problem?
2:34 pm on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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mrperfect4all , this is strange. Is a bad joke of G ? :) I mean: is a filter or not ?
What is the number of unique visitors when is On serps ?
How do you get links this year ? Constantly , a lot in a short period of time etc ?
3:00 pm on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We've been calling this the "Yo-Yo Effect" - there's a home page thread about it: [webmasterworld.com...]
10:54 am on Aug 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have seen strange happening with Google Uk - A month ago I was hitting around 1000 google.co.uk hits a day then it dropped to less than 200 from google.co.uk but my web results and other countries results seem to be increasing - my home page shows up in the google.co.uk results and is doing better than before ranking 3rd and 1st
for my top two key phrazes.
This is still a problem for me and I have not seen any changes since the sudden drop on 17th July 2008. - Anyone else seeing this?

[edited by: tedster at 3:10 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

 

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