A common conversation we keep hearing around the office, both from clients, other businesses we come into contact with and from our personal observations is that the US listings in the Google SERPS seem to be coming up a lot for Google.co.uk searches. This got us thinking about whether there is potentially some foul play on the part of Google.
Consider this: If you are a US company, who provides traffic to websites, would you favour US websites over local websites in foreign SERPS in order to help bolster your failing economy?
Lets take a look at a search term, purely at random I’m going to choose the term “dave” – mainly cos my name is Dave and Dave Naylor’s name is also Dave, and there probably hundreds of thousands of Dave’s in the UK getting worked up about this (well maybe not). So I type in Dave and I get the following:
Inspecting each result, we can see the following:
- dave.uktv.co.uk – UK, but running Google AdSense
- dave.uktv.co.uk/shows/sitcom/red-dwarf/ (let’s here it for Dave Lister) – again, UK but running Google AdSense
- www.imdb.com/title/tt0106673/ – US website
- www.scripting.com – Dave Winer – US
- www.dave.biz – UK, but a brand consultancy who no doubt spend a lot of money with Google
- www.mezzoblue.com – in Canada, at least it’s not the US, but its still not the UK
- www.davewarnke.com – San Franscisco – US
- dave.org.uk – wahey! A guy called Dave from the UK! Finally!
- www.davegahan.com – some artist from the US (damn back to US listings)
- Thursby Software – a company in Texas, again the US – they do some file and print sharing called “Dave v7.1.2″
So a quick summary, out of 10 listings on Google.co.uk for the search term “dave”, only 4 were actually UK web pages, and out of these 4, I believe only one of them didn’t support Google through AdWords or AdSense.
Another problem is that in the UK Google AdWords revenue gets sent to Ireland – so they don’t pay tax to the United Kingdom, with the huge amounts of revenue on Google AdWords, this is a large amount of tax that the UK is missing out on!
Update: apologies Dave Gahan is apparently British.