Search Engine Ranking Factors For Google UK
May 25, 2008 by Ben W.
In order to rank for country specific searches on Google.co.uk you need to show Google that you are focusing on the UK region. So how do you do this? We have compiled a list of SEO factors that help Google know along with explanations.
Google UK Ranking Factors – Not In Any Order Of Importance
1. Google Webmaster Central Region Targeting – Choose what country your site should be associated with (United Kingdom). Pretty self explanatory. I use Google Webmaster Central and don’t think it is part of Google’s master plan to take over the world but some people think otherwise. Just bear in mind you are giving more information to the monster.
2. Domain Ending – Having your domain end in .co.uk is a strong signal to search engines and people where your focus is. Using a .com, .net, or other domain ending is not the end of the world but if you have a choice go with a UK specific one.
3. Location Of Hosting – If you are targeting the UK make sure your web hosting company is based in the United Kingdom and their servers IPs trace back to the UK. To check on this just do a whois.sc on the hosting companies domain and look next to the “IP Location” bar.
4. Address And Phone On Site – Having a UK addresses and phone number on the contact page or footer of every page is a pretty clear signal to both humans and search engines.
5. UK specific Content And On Page Optimisation – This will happen naturally with UK spellings, keyword usage, and content on the region as you write. If you are focusing on a broader topic just try to include a post once in a while that mentions your area. So if you are talking about gaming make a post about how expensive the PS3 is in your home town of Nottingham.
6. Meta Tag For Country And Language – This probably has no impact on Google but I still recommend doing it just for the sake of good practices and other bots/engines that use it.
7. Links From UK Focused Sites Or Content – Links from sites Google believes are UK specific due to any of the above factors are going to be a huge factor. Directories that are listing United Kingdom businesses, local trade organizations, commerce organizations, any links from other .co.uk sites or sites that are clearly in that area will help. Links in content Google will deem UK specific and link anchor text can help too. For example a link called “London Plumber” instead of just Plumber would be nice to get.
8. Activity On Google Toolbar – If visitors to your site are from the UK the toolbar will track it along with some other factors and this might have a small impact. I am not sure how much of a factor it is currently and I remain undecided.
9. Listing In Google Local – Listing your business on Google’s local listings for the UK is a recommended move. Not a huge impact yet but that could change.
In terms of importance I would say that the key ones are links from UK specific sites and having content and keyword usage that reflects your location. Having your location and phone on the contact page or footer will also help. Having the domain end in .co.uk is going to be a big bonus and you basically want to hit as many factors as you can.
If you have any suggestions please leave a comment and I will add it.