Recently there seems to have been a greater proliferation of US results for searches which should return more localised listings. 

One such example is supermarkets. If people search for this and related terms, they should be seeing retailers that actually trade in the UK. 

However, we’re seeing Walmart, kmart and others appearing in what should be localised search results

Here’s one example, showing Walmart in a search for supermarkets, as well as the Wall Street Journal, and even a supermarket based in India. 

If we look in more detail at Walmart’s Google UK search rankings over the past year, we can see it ranking for various terms. 

Mainly, it has been well down the list but results have picked up since around August. The supermarket is now in the top 20 positions in Google for several terms. 

The same applies to Target, another US retailer which doesn’t sell to the UK. 

It too experienced an uplift from August onwards. 

Kmart is another and having had very little search visibility for most of the past twelve months, it is suddenly ranking for lots of shopping related search terms. 

It isn’t just US retailers. Theiconic.com, an Australian retailer, is also appearing in Google UK. 

Like the US examples shown here, it doesn’t service the UK. It has also experience the same post-August uplift. 

Why are these US sites ranking on Google UK?

While US results are useful for many search terms, they are not relevant or particularly useful to users inputting shopping and grocery search terms. 

This seems to be one area where Google’s results have become less relevant. These retailers are essentially displacing results from sites serving a UK audience. 

The reason for this is unclear. None of the algorithm updates listed here appear to explain the pattern we’re seeing here. 

So why are we seeing these results in Google UK? All suggestions welcome….