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Man Utd: Not a UK club, says Google

February 6, 2009 One Comment

According to Google, Manchester United is not a UK football club. Must be something to do with being owned by Americans ...

What Google says about Man Utd

When you use Google, there's an option to search just 'pages from the UK'.

If you search Google for Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City or West Ham, then the first result when 'pages from the UK' is ticked is the official club website - even thought those clubs are all foreign owned. That's as it should be.

But search for Man Utd, Manchester Utd or anything similar, and Google only returns the official club site for the standard 'Search the web' option. Opt for 'pages from the UK' and Man Utd doesn't appear.

Conclusion: Google no longer thinks Man Utd is a UK club.

Google search for Manchester United: search the web

Here's what you get if you opt to search the web for manchester united:

manchester-united-the-web

Google search for Manchester United: pages from the UK.

Here's what you get if you opt to search UK pages only for Manchester United - no sign of the club's website anywhere (the manchesterunited.co.uk is not the club site)...

No sign of Man U website when you search for pages from the UK

No sign of Man U website when you search for pages from the UK

Who uses the UK only option?

There is a serious point here ...

The 'pages from the UK' option is used 13.6% of the time, according to Hitwise. That's quite a lot of people who aren't going to find what they're looking for.

So either Google has a glitch with its UK pages option.

Or Manchester United probably shouldn't have used an american firm to register its domain, used a .com domain, and generally not looked like a UK website.

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One Comment »

  • jaamit says:

    Well, in ths case there's a fairly simple explanation. More important than their domain registration is the fact that their server is based in the US which is a major signal apart from the .co.uk domain.

    Having said that we've had a lot of issues of UK-based clients with .com sites not ranking well in google.co.uk and ranking in google.com instead, despite the IP location... So I would agree that Google has problems identifiying UK sites for .com domains...

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