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[edited by: tedster at 6:55 pm (utc) on Feb 13, 2012]
[edited by: tedster at 3:34 am (utc) on Feb 15, 2012]
[edit reason] I turned off the automatic linking [/edit]
can the URL in the alternative be on a different website
Obviously you would assign a U.K. geo-location to the .com.uk site
Although it's cool to put content across multi TLD's and rank on each of Google's regional listings, what is not clear is whether this form of duplication can effect your Panda score and get your penalised.
If you search for SEO companies UK, you may get a different view, 8/10 are .co.uk, same is with loan uk. For many of the keywords people will be using uk along with it.
For the keywords I monitor in Google.co.uk 10 out of the top 10 websites are on .com domains. Some are UK companies, some are international, but none of them use .co.uk and they are doing just fine.
I have to completely disagree with this for my widgets.
These days it's a nightmare trying to rank my 18 year old example.com, it's mostly been blown out by .co.uk sites even though it still ranks extremely well in G.com
For some keywords ALL I see are Chinese and Indian .com, mostly directory, sites ranking in the top ten and I have to add UK to the search to find any meaningful G.co.uk SERPs.