There has been lots of chatter about a recent shift in ranking by Google with US based sites ranking in Google.co.uk, seoptimise and Search Round Table reported in articles and there was plenty of tweets about the movement. It’s caused a few problems with plenty of UK sites moving down the rankings due to the influx of US based sites.

It’s hard to quantify sometimes what has shifted in the rankings has done as you don’t have before and after data of the top 20, 30, 40 rankings.

Fortunately I have a report from January the 18th 2009 for the top 40 sites in google.co.uk on a search for “commercial laundry equipment”.

I’ve then taken the top 40 websites for the same search query today and the difference is concerning with US sites ranking in the place of many good UK sites. There is also sites from Belgium, India, Spain and China ranking in Google.co.uk.

The list is big so I have added it into a Google Docs Spreadsheet which can be seen by clicking the image.

commercial-laundry-cleaning-search-engine-results

It would be great to get someone from Google to have a look over this. If anyone has seen something similar with their clients or SERP’s post the details below in a comment. Also link to your own blog with an example of the movement of US sites in the UK rankings.

UPDATE 17/06 : Fresh Egg have an article on a similar problem with the key phrase Pet Surgery. Check out the article which has a great conspiracy theory behind the US sites ranking.

Rather than spending time on the odd blog post here and there I’ve added a SEO guide section to the site. I’ll be adding a page in there every so often about a specific subject. To start SEO Friendly URL’s which concentrates on the common problem with SEOFURL’s

Head over to “A Simple guide to SEO Friendly URL’s” to hopefully learn something new and useful.

As I’m changing my domain from .com to co.uk sometime next week I though I’d document the process from an SEO point of view.

1. Change all internal links to point to the new domain. If you are doing this on a text server block from google until your are ready as you don’t want the new domain to be indexed containing duplicate content.

2. Add in you 301 re-direct from the old domain to the new. Make sure you also re-direct inner pages from the old domain to the new domain.

3. Re-run your xml sitemap and update the sitemap reference in the robots.txt

Sitemap : http://www.aukseo.co.uk/sitemap.xml

4. Submit a new site to webmaster tools, verify and submit the new sitemap

5. If possible point some links at the new domain this should help with the indexing of the site. If possible change any external links to point directly at the new domain, if you can’t do this don’t worry too much as the links will still have effect due to the 301.

6. Make sure you change anything that depends on your domain, analytics, feedburner, ranking software and payment systems.

EDIT : 14/07/09
7. On Google Webmater Tools verify the new site and use the change of address tool under the Site Configuration to notify Google that your changing to a new domain.

Give Google a couple of days and then check back by using the site: command in Google on the old domain. You should start to see the page reduce from the old domain to the new domain.

If you have some stragglers of pages that don’t re-direct to the new domain then use a HTML Sitemap and point links to the old url’s. This should give Google a reason to index the link. From experience this works but don’t worry too much if the old page doesn’t move over as they still will receive traffic they used to do. Once indexed remove the links from the sitemap.

Any other ideas please add to the comments below!

Posted in SEO.

Google Squared has launched this evening in the UK and after a little play there are a few ideas popping inside my head for quick ways to grab data for link baiting ideas.

google-squared

For example if you have a football website you can write an article looking at football stadiums ordering by capacity, cost, pitch, size.

football-stadium-google-squared

Having all this data on screen so quickly means you can start to write an article along the lines of “the 10 biggest… “the most expensive… etc. This is nothing new but it can speed up the process of gathering data for such articles.

Google Squared is still in it’s early stages and some of the data given isn’t correct, it would also be good to see the ability to export to csv / excel and also order the data by a certain field.

Head over to Google Squared and have a go.