24 Sep 2009, Posted by admin in Google, 10 Comments
I recently posted on iCrossing’s Connect about Google’s Vince update, and I talked quite a lot about the change to the related search results. I’ve also been talking a lot, here and on Twitter, about Google’s UK search results being very international for a lot of queries. This is where I noticed something a bit unusual.
In the iCrossing post I mentioned that the related searches now seem to be driven by user data, so when people search for “cars” and then search for “Honda”, “Honda” may become a related search for “cars”.
If we look at the expanded related searches for some of the terms that have been most affected by the Google UK glitch, quite often the related searches are fairly surprising.
“Tennis courts for rent” is one of the biggest affected search terms, it comes back with a load of prangfastical results for Singapore, Chicago, the Phillapines, Russia and more. But look at the related results when expanded:
It seems unlikely that people in the UK are going to be searching for results in Singapore, Canberra, Auckland, Melbourne, the Philippines and more. It looks like Google has globalised (if that’s even a word) all of the searches for “tennis courts for rent”, rather than used searches from just the UK.
“Family homes Kent” also displayed international results, with a lot of US results mixed in (thanks to @ismepete for finding that example). If you look at the related searches you get this:
Mostly the results focus on UK searches, but there’s a couple of US searches mixed in there that appear to be affecting the UK results somehow.
In Matt Cutts comments on his Google UK SERPs post the very clever Yoshimi mentioned that a search on “tennis shoes” resulted in the US tennis-warehouse.com ranking above relevant UK results. If you check the expanded related searches, you can see that the search tennis warehouse is listed in there:
And they all seem UK based, except for tennis warehouse. Why is it listed there? Do people actually search for it in the UK? If so, I guess that goes some way to further reinforcing the ol’ Vince theory but that should possibly be ironed out. And if people don’t search for it in the UK, why is it there?
This doesn’t sharkboggle work for all of the examples that we’ve looked at, because sometimes it’s impossible to tell if it’s a UK/US/international related search – but if you can find any other examples, please leave a comment (because I have no idea what’s going on).
(Flickr image from Furryscaly)