If I have two sites with almost the same content at example.com and example.co.uk but each is designed to take orders from the appropriate respective geographic location (i.e. .com from the USA and .co.uk from the UK) how does Google handle this in terms of assigning rank?
Do I lose pagerank by having duplicate content across the same domain name on different TLDs? How can I limit SEO damage, if any?
I note there are already answers to other questions that offer rel="canonical" as a solution but, in the case outlined, I would not want to pass pagerank from one site to the other but keep the same pagerank (as far as possible) for both and have Google serve up the appropriate site for the region the user is searching from (or for).
My priority is not losing pagerank.
I observe that it is quite common for large multinationals to have multiple sites across international domains but in most cases they seem to have different content. Perhaps this a deliberate SEO choice as well as practical?
In my case, the product of the websites is web hosting and the data centres are located in each respective country as well as each site using local currency for orders so it is important to have this localisation, but the products on both sites are essentially the same so the product info on each site does not differ.