Although it’s been a little quiet recently on the whole UK SERPS issue Matt Cutts did get round to answering the question on why so many foreign sites are popping up in the UK search results. First of all it’s great that there is this platform to get a question to someone at Google but Matt’s missed the point in answering the question.
So basically, Google will now consider more .com sites in the UK SERP’s, but ones that are relevant to UK users for example .com websites based in the UK or promoting UK companies e.g. tesco.com (which ranked before all of this anyway). This isn’t the problem, the issues we are seeing are .com’s ranking when then are American or Australian companies or to the extent using a au.com domain. Maybe Google isn’t able to determine what is a UK based .com ??
An example of this was from a non related blog from Dom the Hodge who had used a screenshot of a UK SERP for the search conference lanyards. Ranking in at number 3 and 4 you’ll find two .com.au sites.
It’s up for interpretation but I don’t think that two Australian sites are relevant to a search for conference lanyards. If the search was for “Australian cooking techniques” then maybe it is relevant to show Australian sites ??
Matt eneded the video saying that if there are problems in the results then people should get in touch….. looks like i’ll be “getting in touch often” unless they do make a change.
An increasing issue facing some webmasters in the UK seems to be Google not ranking sites in google.co.uk. The trend seems to be that sites that have a non country specific top level domain e.g. .com .net .org etc struggle to rank in google.co.uk for key phrases, yet the site will rank for the same key phrases Google.com when searching from a UK IP address (Which is different to Google.com searching from a US IP).
It can be rather frustrating for webmasters as they might have a perfectly working site with a good amount of inbound links but Google’s made the decision that the site isn’t 100% focused to a UK audience so Google will class the site as a US / international site thus excluding from the google.co.uk results.
So if you find your site in this predicament then you should take you site through this flowchart to make sure you’ve done everything possible to advise Google that your site is based in the UK.