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I have a .com site that is hosted in the UK and has been for a few years now. About 55% of our sales are to UK customers, and the other 45% comes from mostly US customers.
The overall market for our products is bigger in the US, not least because it is a bigger country. Also, we don't have to pay VAT on non EU sales, so I am quite happy getting orders from the US.
We have quite good ranking in Google.co.uk for various search terms and in Google.com too. But the results on Google.co.uk are always higher than those on the .com site. For example, we may appear no.3 on page 1 for Google.co.uk, but no.9 for .com or worse. Sometimes on page 3.
This lead me to consider switching to a US server. However since our site is a .com and not a .co.uk I am slightly concerned that we would disappear from Google.co.uk and lose our UK sales. On the flip side we may improve our ranking on Google.com and get more custom as a result.
Do any of you here have experience in this and did you switch? Did you notice an effect - positive or negative.
I am now leaning more to staying put in the UK, but am wondering 'what if'.
I may be wrong here...I doubt if any of the search engines pay toooo much attention to where your site actualy is In the same way that your visitors wont care.
I run quite a few sites with all sorts of domain endings...(.net, .org, .co.uk, .tv, .eu and .com) ALL of them are hosted in the USA.....its one heck of a lot cheaper and the features available outstip those offered in the UK. Google, Yahoo etc etc scan my sites rather too much really...but it depends what is important to you I suppose.
I would go for it.
I have just done a search on Google on 14 top keywords related to my site. I did them both on Google.co.uk and Google.com and where the search term appeared. Here are the results:
Keyword * = UK/US
Keyword 1 = 4/18
Keyword 2 = 22/28
Keyword 3 = 12/23
Keyword 4 = 7/18
Keyword 5 = 7/6
Keyword 6 = 3/1
Keyword 7 = 17/18
Keyword 8 = 7/10
Keyword 9 = 12/12
Keyword 10 = 1/8
Keyword 11 = 5/13
Keyword 12 = 3/5
Keyword 13 = 5/7
Keyword 14 = 21/62
You can see that in most cases default searches from UK Google users will bring our site higher than those who search on Google.com. I should point out that when searching on Google.co.uk I am not requesting pages from the UK, but worldwide, ie. default search.
I am concerned that by switching to a US server my good ranking for UK users of Google will fall or worse, completely vanish. This is because our site is a .com and how would Google put us in the UK results. Of course if this means I get a better increase for US visitors then it is worth it.
I am wondering whether my ranking on Google.com is damaged by being outside the US or whether it has no little or no effect. It could just be that more sites are included in the search so naturally my site is lower in the listings. If this is the case then it would be silly to move.
I'd be very interested to hear other opinions on this.
I had the same issue but then the other way arround. It helped a great deal to go from US to UK hosting. Why not give it a try?