How Do You Tell Google that You're a UK Site?

May 7, 2008 • 7:42 am | comments (1) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld member says that his .com, which has a UK IP address (and is for the United Kingdom audience), is not being recognized as a UK-specific site even though he updated Google Webmaster Tools and informed Google of the geographic location of the site. He ranks #5 in but #149 in (For reasons like this, I just wish was the default domain in Google and that there wasn't a landrush for .com domains out there. I want one day, and they're a UK company.) ;)

Why is this ranking occurring? There are a few reasons. While the site is UK centric, the links to the site may be from other foreign countries. The idea, then, is to get more UK links.

One forum members suspects that it may be something else, because in the past, Google has misidentified some UK IP addresses on generic .com TLDs. Furthermore, some UK hosting companies are actually not hosting in the UK.

While some forum members think that WHOIS information is at fault, that's not the case when these domains are protected by WhoisGuard or Domains by Proxy. There must be other factors in play here.

One final suggestion from a forum member comes from checking DMOZ rankings (if applicable) and ticking off the checkbox that says "this is a UK listing." Since Google uses DMOZ for data, this can't hurt at all.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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David Eaves

05/07/2008 07:18 pm

This has been a long standing problem with UK hosted .com sites: Every now and then there seems to be an update and it gets sorted out, this is not very often though. I recently had a .com site not showing up, all of the server tools said it was hosted in London, eventually I tried a new host and they got straight into the UK pages. However the site is still not ranking the way it should, certain foreign search engines like it ranks on, so I know how it should rank, but it does not rank properly on Google UK. This guy needs to make sure that he is hosted in the UK most importantly and possibly try changing server. The set geographic tool can do it, well for large companies anyway, weather or not it works for your average webmaster or not remains to be seen, but is supposed to take about 3 months to kick in. I have two US hosted sites that have been set to UK for just short of three months now. I will blog about it if any of the sites start showing up properly.

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