I have been involved in a number of discussions as to the merits/demerits of .co.uk vs .com visibility primarily with Google. With the ongoing evolution of the algorithms, with localisation and relevancy being at the heart of it, its important to understand how this impacts on searchers. For this reason, understanding where such users are searching is very important.
Hitwise are one of the best aggregators of such data. Interestingly enough, they have recently published an overview of the leading search engines for August 2008, with the results as follows:
- Google.co.uk (Google UK) – 73.13%
- Google.com (Google Global/US) – 14.20%
- uk.search.yahoo.com (Yahoo UK) – 3.37%
- www.uk.ask.com (Ask) – 2.69%
Given many UK companies target UK customers, it is essential that your SEO strategy should at least pay reference to localisation of search. Google in particular rewards efforts to target your site to your local market by using metrics such as domain extension and hosting location to determine best fit.
If you aren’t thinking local – isn’t it about time you did.