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Hitwise has published some interesting stats showing how fragmented and confused the UK search market was last month.

As you can see from the figures below, searchers are faced with a wide array of search engines and most are probably unaware of the different results they see by using google.com compared to google.co.uk, for example.

Any seachers from the UK who accidentally use Google.com or any of the non-UK focused engines such as search.yahoo.com are going to see almost totally useless results for the most competitive queries.

Try a search for "insurance" and you will see a list of US based companies - not what people in the UK typically want.

Personally I would prefer to see Google displaying the exact same content on Google.co.uk to Google.com if they detect a UK IP address.

Of course they should provide the option to show traditional Google.com results but this shouldn't be the default setting.


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Published 3 April, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

55 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Matt G

MSN seems to do exactly what you mention Google should be doing. UK results appear for me whether or not I click the 'Only from the United Kingdom' button on live.com's search results page. IP recognition is therefore obviously being used by Microsoft. Could this be MS beating Google to a feature? Surely not.

Also, as both search.msn.com or search.msn.co.uk redirect to live.com I'm a little perplexed by the stats you have provided. Unless they only show what people put in their browser to begin a search and not when they click 'search'.

Regardless, the search plot certainly has thickened.

over 8 years ago

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Jonathan Beeston

I think Google do try to direct you to the UK site, particularly if you have a Google account. I just spent 5 or 6 clicks trying to get it to show me the .com results. Also, the .com results are necessarily US biased, trying doing a search for 'car insurance'. Most of the results are UK sites.

Even if 'searchers are faced with a wide array of search engines', it's still funny how nearly three quarters of them pick Google.co.uk.

over 8 years ago

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