Hi BeeDeeDubbleU, well there are less competing sites when I select "Pages from the UK" which does mean that my rankings look more flattering than using the open web.
But that said, if UK users just search the web and don't select "Pages from the UK" then I am kidding myself checking my rankings on it. One example, for one term blue widgets in pages from the UK my site is at position 4, if I then check under the web, it falls to page 4!
You ask "Doesn't Google Geolocate you by default?" .. well perhaps,, it usually serves me google.co.uk for example, but the search set in "Pages from the UK" is definately smaller, or at least my rankings are higher in that than they are in "the web" on google.co.uk.
Yes if I want UK results I click the pages from the UK link, but what about normal punters, do they know to do this? do they want to do this?
As I can't use it until I already have some results I would only even think about it if the SERPS were visbly skewed to non UK sites. Actually I have seen results for London, Ontario after clicking on this option for a keyword + London search in the UK.
This would be good to know. I tend to use it myself if looking to buy online but do wonder how many others do?
As I understand it - purely from observation - it would seem that "pages from the UK" only shows results for sites on UK servers or sites hosted elsewhere that have notified Google that they are UK based or primarily targeting a UK audience.
It is not the same as "geo-targeting" where Google basically assume you are looking for results in your "neighbourhood" and serve results based on your IP address irrespective of whether you use google.com, .co.uk, .id, or wherever.
I checked my rankings again today and for consistency I still used the "pages from UK" option. Trouble is, the people I report to don't use it and so telling them we have position 11 in the serps, when they look it looks more like pos 17 or perhaps 23 ...
I would really like to know how many UK searchers use "pages from UK" in their searches.
Well if the Hitwise data indicated 13% (only 1 in 7) 2008, when you could make the choice before doing the search, then I think that it's probably far lower now because (as said above) you have to modify your results once they're displayed. Most people are only likely to do this IMO if the first few aren't relevant, so it could vary quite a lot from niche to niche.
WMT's impressions data might be useful for you. There is also an Analytics hack that allows you to tag keyword hits with the SERPS page number. If the difference in SERPS for UK / non-UK results is noticeable and fairly static then you might be able to get an idea of the numbers on a per-site basis.