Cutts on the UK SERPS issue: talking around the bush

Mon 24 August 2009 09:03, Bas van den Beld

Cutts on the UK SERPS issue: talking around the bush

There has been a lot of talk online about the UK SERPS. In the last couple of months many results in Google.co.uk were 'polluted' by results from the US, Australia or New Zealand.

The mixing up of results first were thought to be caused by the Vince Updates which had the UK, but it did seem as if other things played a role. It took almost two months, but now Matt Cutts has reacted to the issue. To be frank, his explanation doesn't really feel satisfactory.

Matt Cutts explained in the video why the .com results keep popping up. His answer is pretty simple: Google is getting better. Google believes it shouldn't just give you UK results when searching in Google.co.uk.

Off course Matt is right about that. If .com results are better than UK results, they should pop up. There are however results which clearly don't belong there. A Google Map result of US-based companies when searching in the UK simply is not a good result.The video Cutts made made a lot of UK searchers react. They felt Cutts was avoiding the real answer. This then resulted in another blogpost by Cutts in which he countered the questions. He stated that he has been following some of the examples people have pointed out and felt some were actually the result of the changes he mentioned in the video. Other results however really didn't belong there.

Though Matts respons does make sense it still doesn't 'feel' right. Either Google has been testing some other stuff, or they have been making some mistakes. If they will be corrected in the future we will find out.

Fact is that the mixing up of results is not a good thing for UK-located business who are gaing some competition along the way. A look at the comments on Matt Cutts' post shows the last thing about this issue hasn't been said yet.

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Comments (6)

 

  • Well, informational of navigational queries can be answered with worldwide results. When searching for facts and figures, US results, or Dutch, or South African, etc. can be better than UK results. But transactional queries on the hand... Nonetheless, i would be more happy when information i search for is local or at least country based, unless my searchquery is in another language.

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 09:26


  • @Dennis when looking for a restaurant when I'm in London I don't expect to get results from South Africa :)

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 09:31


  • @bas I agree, search queries with 'restaurant' in it (maybe in combination with location) are transactional if you ask me.

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 09:34


  • I am one of the biggest noise makers when it comes to #ukserps Plenty of searches based on intent are broken, for example "Local Restaurant" the "local" keyword should act almost as an operator to define region specific results.

    http://my.telegraph.co.uk/rishil/blog/2009/08/21/why_i_kicked_up_a_fuss_re...

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 10:43


  • I understand Google's predicament to a degree. Many UK companies use .com domains - the UK price comparison market is dominated by .com domain names.

    Yet Google should be able to determine a company's geographic market quite easily.

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 13:29


  • The SERPS in the UK where fine before the change. To be honest, even with the change, shouldn't any query be bouncing off the local Google datacenter anyway to return results, so technically they shouldn't have an issue with delivering local results back for a query.

    Unless they have gone and changed what the local DC index now. I doubt the USA see UK results when they perform searches?

    @barry, i would think the UK companies would use local hosting for those websites, therefore they should naturally appear for UK queries, but i'm not sure a US result with a .com should rank, or if they've placed less importance on that in the UK now.

    Ma 24 aug 2009, 17:16

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