Why are .com sites ranking highly in UK SERPs?
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Why are .com sites ranking highly in UK SERPs?

>>CUTTS: Okay, let’s walk through some questions.
There was an interesting one from Guavarian in the U.K. and I think Rhocile like lobbied
for a bunch of people to vote for this. Essentially they’re asking why for the U.K. SERPS, that’s
Search Engine Result Pages, are you seeing a lot of .coms instead of .co.uks. And it’s
absolutely true that if you do a search for, say, car insurance on Google.co.uk, you’re
more likely to see for example tescofinance.com or Churchill.com. Some sites that are definitely
U.K. focused, that are, you know, even mentioned U.K. in the title but are not necessarily
.co.uks. Well, the short answer is that, you know, as we get better, we’re more willing
to show .coms if we think that they’re really relevant to a given country. And so, I think
everybody kind of got used to the idea that if you search on google.co.uk, you’re only
going to get .uks. And that’s not really the right attitude because if the best result
for a British searcher is something that ends in .com, we still want to show that to that
British searcher. And so, that is probably a change that we’re not going to revert. If
you see things where it’s in a relevant .com or .com that really has nothing at all to
do with the U.K. or Australia or New Zealand or whatever it is that your country market
is. Then we’ll definitely be interested in hearing about that, but as we continue to
know more about which websites are associated with which countries, I do expect that we’ll
start to show .coms a little bit more often in some different countries. And so, that’s
just something where we’re getting a little bit better about detecting. You know, tescofinance.com
is still about the U.K. market and it’s still really useful to a British server and we’re
willing to show .coms a little bit more to people over time.


  • Simon Wharton

    No Matt, you've missed the point here. The problem isn't to do with domain suffix. The problem is that we are getting irrelevant sites from the English speaking world polluting the UK SERPs. For example, Manchester in the UK is quite a long way from Manchester NH yet we get Manchester NH results ranking VERY prominently in local search for Manchester UK related terms

  • Andrew Bleakley

    Well then he did answer I suppose. Google is delivering incorrect and polluted results because they don't understand the question/query

  • Daniel Böttner

    I guess a query like "Manchester" is to unspecified for the engine. As Matt explains google tries to give the most relevant information
    to the user. Maybe for this kind of "unclear" results it would by a good idea to set geotags etc. for the site. Just a guess.

  • Peppe Ddu

    If you want to see which search engine gives you the best results go to

    blindsearch. fejus. com

    Enter your search keywords and choose which of the three engines gives you the best results.
    After that it will tell you which search engine it was.

  • Colin McDermott

    Im sorry but that was a joke.

    Matt, you read the question out differently to how it was, then basically answered it as if it was a completely different question!!!

    The gripes of the UK web industry has nothing to do with .coms !! No one has at any point said it has!! It was not in the question, and it was not in any of the hundreds of blogposts that have surrounded the issue.

    Very disappointed.

  • antsplace

    Hi Matt,
    As woodsandhillplc has mentioned, the question is about the quality of the UK serps, which at present is really poor.

    I have been looking at one term that in May had 14.2 million results, now in August has 42 million results. These additional results are from USA, India and other contries, will a lot more very low quality results thrown in.

    I have been an avid user of Google since it's inception but the results I see are so bad that I am now using another search engine.

  • Barry Smith

    Yeah, totally not what the question was asking Matt.
    Gotta chip in on this one as it effects my everyday use of Google so I'd like to see this question answered properly please.

  • Daniel Böttner

    I'm with you on that … but If we just ignore the "localization" via IP or the chosen URL for Google. Then the results for the other Manchester are maybe more important to the engine as the Manchester (UK) results are. Like I said its just a guess … as google tries always tries to provide the result that most likely is suitable for the most users. And if the non UK sites managing the SEO (via content etc.) better there up in the list.

  • Andrew Dixon

    I'm sorry, but this smacks completely of Google trying to provide an answer to question they don't want to answer. The number of blog posts and twitters @ Matt, there is no way on earth he misunderstood the question or missed what the actual problem is. They are obviously testing something out using UK SERPs as the test bed and for some reason, whatever that might be, don't want to tell the community what it is, which is completely up to them. Matt, don't insult us with such junk please.

  • KingNosser

    I think whats more important is not giving me a list of dodgy websites that have fly by downloads or install asking sites which I don't click on as I have WOT and AVG and it happens a lot of the time if these two apps can spot it then why cant you.

  • Tadas

    .com domain is 3 times cheaper than .co.uk and you still set to target users from UK using webmaster tools, so why pay 3 times more?…

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