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We have two sites:

  • example.com
  • example.co.uk

Both point to the same IP and files.

Is it better SEO practice to direct the user's from example.co.uk to example.com?

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I think you should do canonicalization for this, I suppose this eliminate redirection. seomoz.org/learn-seo/canonicalization – juanpastas May 9 '13 at 23:34
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Ideally you need a 301 Permanent redirect from one to the other. If you serve the UK exclusively or almost, then redirect from the .com to the .co.uk because the country extension is favored in local searches. Otherwise, redirect the other way around.

Not redirecting creates a vast body of duplicate content which is frowned upon and even penalized by Google. Now, they do not penalize for every bit of duplication and they may even understand multiple TLDs in the way you have them, but if everything is identical, do not risk it.

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Hi Itai, its not true about: .com to the .co.uk because the country extension is favored in local searches since Google uses many signals to establish this, off site citations being one of the most important. Google has the ability to narrow down your site to the town it operates in and these areas are not included in the domain name or are they required in the URL. Just thought I'd throw that out there, its often a mistake that many people think a .co.uk is better than a .com, both are valid and rankable for local searches. – Simon Hayter May 9 '13 at 17:58
Many only UK companies use the .com, .net and so forth with no ranking issues at all. One of major reasons they go for .co.uk is the .com is taken or they assume what I said about thinking they need a .co.uk I know you said favored and not must, but as far as I've tested, and read there is no difference today with Google's local rankings due to many other factors. – Simon Hayter May 9 '13 at 18:03
Google has repeatedly said they "do not favor one TLD over another based on location". However, studies show this to be false - it does matter. A site written in swedish, physically located in Sweden and on a .se domain will rank higher than a site in swedish, physically located in Sweden but using a .com domain. – Patrik Alienus May 9 '13 at 18:13
The thing about ranking is that there are practically no absolute rules. Ranking and relevancy is established with a sum of factors which are each weighted differently. If all else being equal, one factor will make a difference but all else are rarely equal. – Itai May 9 '13 at 23:14

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