• http://www.highrankings.com/newsletter/ Jill Whalen

    We have a Hull, MA where my oldest daughter is in the midst of moving to. So I just tried your “Hull Driving School” search and I’m getting UK SERPS! (On Google.com from Framingham, MA)

    A search for Hull, MA driving school, however does pull up the correct local results.

    So maybe it’s not just the UK serps messed up, but many others too?

  • http://www.searchcowboys.com Bas van den Beld

    Hi Jill, it looks like it. Also in Holland we are getting some strange results, but these were found in the caffeine data. If you look at what Matt says it would make sense that other countries than the UK should be seeing things like this.

    If its a good thing can be discussed though…

  • http://www.bluelightseo.co.uk bluelightseo

    The Hull Driving School example was from a while back I believe. It’s on Dave Naylor’s Blog at the end of June

  • http://www.creativecog.com creativecog

    I can see all the different view points here – and they are all valid… but what happens if someone using google.co.uk is moving to Kent, Seattle, USA ? They would want the Kent (US) family homes… or a child going to Hull, St. Louis to study and the parents want to help them find a driving school ? I’m not sure the results are a problem, more the way Google presents them… rather than focus on the domain suffix (.co.uk / .com) it would be better if Google allowed users to choose which countries they want to see results from… or as we have see the natural progression in which users adapt technology to filter their results – from single keyword ‘house’ to phrases ‘family home’ to location specific phrases ‘family home kent’… surely the next stage is ‘family home kent uk’ and voila the search results and PPC are all very relevant.

  • http://www.vertical-leap.co.uk/ KerryDye

    @creativecog – if I as a UK user want to search for things in Kent, Seattle, I would put that qualification into my search term. The same would apply to you if you were interested in the opposite case. Appending UK to the end of a search term is something that UK users have been glad to ditch since they switched from AltaVista to Google! It was a major reason that users over here were quick to switch and the reason why Google has a 85%+ search share in the UK.

  • http://www.searchcowboys.com Bas van den Beld

    @bluelightseo, yes it’s an older example. I’m just trying to show the picture of what I’m talking about and what kind of results seem strange.

    @creativelog isn’t that the entire meaning of the google.co.uk site? If you are in the UK and want to search for US Kent you would probably go to the google.com site I presume?

  • elchenuk

    I don’t think this issue is unique to Google, I have tried similar searches on Bing and Yahoo!
    In Bing I did a search for ‘dining out’ and in the top five results I got a result from Australia, one from the US and one from South Africa. The SERPs improved when I ticked the box for ‘only results from the UK’.
    For Yahoo! the second result was from South Africa, again when I ticked the ‘Uk’ radio button SERPs did improve but there were still a few results from US.

  • http://www.Match.ccom simons1321

    maybe search “the web” now means search the world… and “pages from the UK” means….. pages from the UK?

  • http://www.searchcowboys.com Bas van den Beld

    @simons1321 that is what Matt Cutts seems to be saying, but isn’t it all about relevancy when you search? And why then a .co.uk site different from the .com?

  • http://twitter.com/GavinSmithLeeds Gavin Smith Leeds

    I think this issue has become hugely confused by what Matt Cutt’s said in his video.

    The issue around the UK SERPs has and never will be about the TLD, afterall .com is a neutral TLD that has been used by British Companies for a very long time.

    I have no issue with .com domains ranking in the UK as they always have done, as long as they are relevant to this country.

    The issues we are now facing is that since June, 8 foreign language sites started showing up in the top 150 results for casino related terms, and if I search for ‘Discount Mens Aftershave’ I get 5 results in the first 2 pages from countries half way around the world(.co.za/.com.au).

    How is a site relevant to me if they won’t offer their services/products to me or I can’t understand the language the site is written in?

    I could sit here all day reeling off examples of how the UK SERPs have broken over the last few months.

    The point is that the UK is Googles 2nd largest market and their search results are hideously below the standard we were seeing only a few months ago.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    This is very interesting, I have not experienced any issues (for US local clients) but I will be sure to keep an eye on this if any of the SERPs get mixed up…

  • mcdermc

    We’re UK based with a long established dot com address that’s always managed to feature well in SERPs from the UK et al. With reference to the current shenanigans, haven’t noticed and ‘foreign language’ sites appearing in the keyphrase-lounge where we hang out.

    By contrast some of you may recall a couple of years back when us UK based dot com sites were complaining to Google about NOT being listed at all for several months.

  • http://www.searchcowboys.com Bas van den Beld

    Just to make clear: the problem is NOT that .com sites appear in the UK SERPS. As long as they are relevant.

    What you see now is that results from other countries rank high on terms which are not relevant to searches, keeping in mind where the searcher is located.

    If Cutts says it’s ok that .com results will show up in UK SERPS he is therefore right, but he keeps out the local aspect of relevancy.

    When located in London and searching for a restaurant to go out to dinner, nobody will want results which tell you to go and eat on the other side of the world. And that is what is happening here.

  • http://twitter.com/GavinSmithLeeds Gavin Smith Leeds

    @Bas You hit the nail on the head.