5 Differences Between Google.com & International Google Search Results

Having searched hundreds of times on google.ca and google.com.ph I see some subtle differences in how the top ranked global / US results are mixed into international results.

  • High authority sites do not tend to rank as well internationally as they do in the US. Domain trust counts less. As an example, Matt Cutts recently posted about his favorite omron pedometer. He is right near the top on Google.com, but it a bit lower internationally.
  • Low authority sites that were near the top of the global search results tend to rank a bit better internationally. My mom has a lower link authority weight loss blog and has also posted about her favorite omron pedometer, and ranks better internationally than she does in the US results.
  • Exact match domains ("mykeyword.com" matches [mykeyword] and [my keyword]) seem to get a bit more love in international search results than in the US results.
  • The domain love is even moreso if it is a local domain extension.
  • Trusted local sites are aggressively mixed into the search results, especially for queries that would hint a local preference. In one local market I saw a local thin affiliate site ranking in the top 3 for a core mortgage term, and the site was only PageRank 2.
Published: September 26, 2007 by Aaron Wall in google


October 7, 2007 - 6:51am

Can't believe you used PR as a way to show site's power :) What happened to total links from Yahoo or site age?

Btw, do you think PR2 means it has a penalty, as it is hard to see a site of that low PR? I normally get PR4 for the first time on the homepages.

October 7, 2007 - 8:15am

PageRank is an estimate of how well integrated a page is into the web graph.

My point was that most sites well integrated into the web graph with high global link authority are not weighted too heavily in international results, which makes sense, because if they were US results would dominate all markets since so much of the origin of the web and early web investments were focused in that country.

I have a PR2 site that outranks PR6 sites in the same industry. A low PageRank score does not mean that your site is somehow penalized...just that it doesn't have high link authority, or Google has not calculated your link authority and exported that value since you have accumulated serious link authority.

August 10, 2008 - 1:46am

Hi Aaron,

"High authority sites do not tend to rank as well internationally as they do in the US. Domain trust counts less."

Actually, I've found the opposite to be true in my German SERPs. Whenever I analyzed some SERPs to figure out whether I should make the site in English or German (or French), one of the main reasons why I'd always go with English that in those niches a lot of times I could see www keyworddomain com rank in the English SERPs, whereas the German SERPs were cluttered with www bigecommercesite com/subpage.

That really intimitated me a bit, not really being able to tell if Id be able to compete with such ..wack.. pages hosted on authoritative domains.

Of course the reason, might that there arent as many German-speaking webmasters making such sites, whereas every big business in Germany has a website, obviously. Thus, no idea if its the algo or the people causing this

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