A search engine fault, which sees Google list international results in searches for local firms, may be returning, theEword has discovered. The problem, which sees foreign companies appearing in UK SERPs, was thought to have been resolved after heavy criticism from SEO and online marketing professionals in 2009 regarding the relevance of results.
The latest irrelevant results find came yesterday after a search for 'Swan Taxis', a local taxi firm in Manchester. SEO professionals will be disheartened to hear that the issue, which was thought to have been resolved after a number of algorithm tweaks (combined with the introduction of Caffeine, Google's latest indexing system), may be making a reappearance.
The irrelevant result, which was discovered by the SEO copywriting team at theEword, saw an Australian taxi company being placed in the first position. The UK-based Swan Taxis is listed in the third search engine result.
At its peak, the relevance of the UK SERPs caused controversy, with a number of SEO agencies highlighting incorrect results. Reoccurring issues included the listing of a Canadian hotel for the search 'Travelodge Waterloo', a link to the US-based Pottery Barn for the term 'Home furnishings' and several listings of American firms for the phrase 'Long distance moving companies'.
At the time, a number of SEO agencies suggested possible reasons for the SERPs confusion, including an algorithm test, a new focus on geotargeting or an issue with Google's UK datacentre. The criticism saw Matt Cutts, Google's Head of Web Spam, release a video blog in an attempt to reassure SEO agencies in Manchester and elsewhere.
Get in touch with us on Twitter if you spot any more irrelevant UK SERPs.