About a week before the Florida update (November 2003) I began conducting tests to determine the weight given to sites hosted in a specific country and the likelihood of that specific site coming up higher in the results when conducting a search from within that country. What sprung my interest in this topic was the complaints I was getting from overseas (outside the US) SEO Count customers. This tool is US centric because the results are driven by the Google API, so if you conduct a search with it, it will bring back US centric results. Those who used this application from outside the US (including most of Canada) received different results then what was listed in the Google API.
So I began gathering data by coming up with several keyword phrases, both very competitive and not so competitive, and looked up the site's server geographic location. After determining the site's physical location, I asked colleagues around the world to send me the top 30 results for those searches. What I found was that based on what country your searching from, you will more likely see site's that rank higher based on the location of the server the site is on.
For example, if Site A is located in Germany and I am conducting a search on a keyword related to Site A in a pub in Germany, then Site A is likely to rank higher then sites with a physical location in America. There are obviously other considerations but the results I have found were really revealing.
Unfortunately, I stopped the data gathering process due to the Florida update. At that time the results were all over the place. I have not continued the research but I hope to soon.