joined:Oct 28, 2012
Okay - So I've got some strange behaviour I've recently seen in the serps.
We run a small business and website in Australia. Recently we saw the Google AU "The web" results shift dramatically. The "Pages from Australia" results, are near enough the same.
The results now include a lot more non-Au based websites, with US news/article websites and other US companies creeping into the top 10/20/30. This happened on or about the 20th October, across the board on all kinds of searches in our niche (not sure on other niches). There has been some minor fluctuations since, but fundamentally it has changed the game for AU businesses, and we think that results looks less relevant to Australians, more messy and of less value to the AU consumer.
While it might be good to mix it up, I personally think that the change is not helpful to the consumer as they are looking for products - we've seen in the past that 98% of consumers buy from local businesses, as they trust them more than buying from overseas. So why polute the best search results for an AU consumer looking for products, with non-relevant, non-retail/ecommerce websites? - like a US mens health magazine, or US news website, or US websites that don't sell to Australians at all? - seems pointless and irrelevant!
Also - we've noticed, that some of our biggest competitors have disappeared from the Australian, "The Web" SERPs altogether! The 2 I am thinking of have many affiliates websites, who sell on separate and identical template websites (more fool them!), with differing URL's, but same templates.
So in essence - there are 2 kinds, and distinct changes that seemed to have occurred on, or about the 20th Oct to the present.
Has anyone else seen this kind of behaviour in the SERP's in other non-US regions?