Our site domain was used to be "xxxx.co.uk" but its changed to subdirectory "xxxx.com/uk" so that we can have benefit from "xxxx.com" site domain authority (DA) and page rank (PR).

It worked. DA and PR were up but now when I tried the search keyword "xxxxx London" at Google.co.uk, it returns the page/url in SERP under ".com" page, which is Canadian page, not ".com/uk" UK site page.

I got a feeling geotargeting, local search at Google is not working somehow. Is there any better approch without putting our domain back to "xxxx.co.uk"?

Things we did :

Set country "UK" at Google Webmaster tools under "Internatioal Targeting" Added hreflang tag to the homepage and London city page respectively Any suggestion, advice would be hightly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • Not sure how to advise you. I will have to think about it. I know that .com(s) usually do rather well in google.co.uk (I think that is it), but since you changed, I would have expect less local traffic and more general traffic.
    – closetnoc
    Feb 3, 2015 at 6:12
  • It may be help to see what you are seeing. Can you include your domain name and the value for xxxxx?? (assuming that xxxxx = domain name less tld)
    – closetnoc
    Feb 3, 2015 at 7:19
  • Have you informed Google on the old webmaster tools that you've moved site? also how many months have you waited? Feb 3, 2015 at 8:19
  • Thanks for the comments. We are the weather company from Canada. The keyword was "London weather". Other competitors show of course UK London page but google.co.uk is picking our Canadian London Ontario page. I assume informing Google is from the webmaster tools and we did in last July so more than 6 months ago.
    – yamasnax
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


In my experience, running a site on a .co.uk site is better for ranking in the UK rather than a subdirectory of the .com site.

For one, domain authority and PageRank aren't everything anymore. Google has never published number for domain authority and they recently stopped publishing publicly available PageRank scores. You must be relying on third parties to provide you with these metrics. Those third parties are not Google. What they tell you about your authority isn't necessarily exactly what Google pays attention to.

When you have a .co.uk site, Google automatically geo targets it to the UK (in fact, you can't globally target such a site.) When the UK site is in a subdirectory, the geo targeting is not automatic. You have to register the subdirectory separately in Google Webmaster Tools and set the geo targeting just for that subdirectory. It sounds like you have done this, but it may not be as effective as the natural .co.uk targeting.

Having hosting in the targeted country is also important. Google appears to use where the site is geographically hosted as a ranking and localization factor for international searchers. It is not possible to move hosting of a subdirectory into the correct country. Because of this, I always recommend a separate site or at least a subdomain.

Users also seem to like sites that appear to be more "native". Users in the UK appear to be more receptive to .co.uk sites than uk subdirectories or subdomains. This makes it easier to build links. It also raises the click through rate from the search results. Those factors can lead to higher rankings.

If I were you, I would change it back to the way it used to be.

  • Thanks for your thoughts Stephen. The more I research, ther more I feel towards changing back to ".co.uk". I am not sure if this will work but will add HTML lang attribute and see how it will work. Back to ".co.uk" is definitely an option for us but since it will require a lot of code change, I will carefully examine and decide what/how we should do. Thanks.
    – yamasnax
    Feb 12, 2015 at 13:03
  • Also, we are moving the host to cloud base in the UK. So many things to cover but ultimately .co.uk will be the natural way. Great lesson learend. We have U.S site with "com/us" this will be next to work on...
    – yamasnax
    Feb 12, 2015 at 15:28

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