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Targeting Regions with different subdomains

11:23 pm on Feb 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have a quick question. I have a site setup with a master site and sub domains targeting different regions i.e. Google.co.uk and Google.com.

So for example I have:


All of the sub domains are hosted in the US. There are about 15 sub domains. Five of these are in the UK the rest in the US. They are all interlinked but not in a spammy way. All of the sub domains have a PR of 5 (the main site has a PR of 6).

All of the sites used to perform well in both Google.com and Google.co.uk. But recently I have noticed all the UK sub domains have dropped out of the organic rankings completely. But those same sub domains are performing well in the Google.com.

All these rank drops occurred at the same time (last November 2008). I can't see why these sites have dropped so much.

To me it seems like there is more emphasis being put where the sites are being hosted. As they are heavily interlinked (and since 2007 Google started to treat sub domains as separate sites) most of the inbound links to the sub domains targeted at the UK are from other sub domains hosted in the US.

Its all very strange. Any ideas welcome.



[edited by: tedster at 11:44 pm (utc) on Feb. 24, 2009]
[edit reason] de-link the examples [/edit]

5:12 am on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't have a quick answer, except to say that UK rankings have been going through all kinds of shifts and showing all kinds of challenges.

Just throwing out some ideas to discuss here, nothing definitive. If the UK-related subdomains are hosted in the US, that may be the factor that kicked in more strongly in November. Another potential factor could be how geographically focused are the backlinks for the subdomains.

Is each subdomain set up in Webmaster Tools? Are they all given international geo-targetting?

6:06 pm on Feb 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah I think it's a change in the emphasis they place on the country your external links are coming from. It's the only explanation.