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Site in Google UK SERPs in the wilderness, but ranks fine on other Google(s)



3:14 pm on Nov 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


My site is +11+ years old and is hosted in the UK. For years, I ranked fairly well on Google.co.uk, however, with the recent Algo changes over the past few years, we've gradually fallen for pretty much every keyword.

During this time, we carried on doing what we always have done...natural link building, adding new content, improving site engagement, etc etc.

We've also made a number of other improvements; including a move to a responsive design to reduce bounce rates on mobile devices, moved to a dedicated server to increase speed (for usability)...the list goes on.

However, no matter what we do, Google UK doesn't want to know. Other Google sites (other than .com), love us! We rank page 1 for pretty much all our main KWs...yet we're hosted in the UK, have a UK-address and UK pricing?

What are we doing wrong?

The only one thing I can think of is that our site is a .net However, I am not too happy to change this as it's well established and I'm frightened a move to a new .co.uk URL would cause more damage. I've also read that providing a site is hosted in the target country , the .net domain shouldn't be an issue?

Anyone have any similar stories / ideas?


6:28 pm on Nov 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Have you tried enforcing a UK geotarget in WMT? Maybe some off-site signals are confusing Google? To be honest my website is behaving a bit strangely in Google UK for certain keywords at the moment but is fine elsewhere. It's also UK hosted and that's where I'm based.


7:21 pm on Nov 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yep - been geotargeted to the UK for a couple of years at least. I primarily have links back to my site from UK sites, too?


9:30 pm on Nov 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

We're in a similar situation with one quite small site, hit pretty hard in .com and .co.uk but still does great in .ca (hosted in the UK).

I have no idea why as any theories we come up with are pretty much dispelled by what we hear from other webmasters and SEO's. Only thing I can say is that most of our inbound links come from .com / .co.uk's, with hardly any from Canada. Would make more sense if we were hit by penguin, but our drops coincide with Panda.


9:53 am on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There is something not right with Google results at the moment.

I have never seen so many Russian and Australian sites in the searches I have done in the last month or two from the UK, so it may be happening the to lots of sites.


10:46 am on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

This has been going on for a long time, and is very frustrating if you're searching. It must be even more annoying if your site is being handled this way.

I tried to raise this with Matt Cutts on the topic of non-uk sites appearing in the index as it's really making the UK SERPs look poor.

I'll try again.


12:59 pm on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I really do think Google has (& has had the issue for some time) a geo target issue. It's interesting that a post above says they see Australian & Russian results-we are UK based selling UK specific products yet have been getting a fair few hits from the aforementioned countries! Perhaps crossed wires somewhere in Google's algo.......

(although we ALWAYS & I mean ALWAYS see foreign hits when an update is passing through for some reason....)


3:39 pm on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm glad I'm not alone in noticing this issue (makes me feel slightly better!)

@engine - you mentioned you tried to raise this with Matt Cutts. Could I ask how you went about this so I can do the same?

Despite me being targeted in every way to the UK (links, WMT geo settings, language etc), I get more results from Google France, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong and the Maldives (surprisingly)...although it's nice to rank so well in those countries (and others), the visitors are pretty worthless in terms of s.


4:32 pm on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month


I did that while I was at Pubcon in Las Vegas


11:02 pm on Nov 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

My Site just recently and i believed it to be part of one of the many algo changes, however Yesterday just browsing through my WMT account i found that the site in question had changed its geo location, I put it back to show UK and got a message in My account to say it had been changed, but i know for a fact that last month it was pointing to UK so how it changed i have no idea

Google WMT is a little buggy atm

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