When I am not working on Microsoft stuff, I have a sideline as Chief Director of Information Systems to Scruffy Mutts …. My partners dog grooming business!

Naturally, we have a website (www.scruffymutts.com) and I’ve been doing a lot of work making sure that the website is well ranked in the UK search engines (such as MSN :) ) for the term ‘dog grooming Leamington’, which it is …. most of the time! And there lies the theme of this article!

Our site comes back as the number 1 hit on all of the major search engines for the query dog grooming Leamington, unless you tick the Only from United Kingdom tick box. If you tick this option (which I do all the time because I thought it would give me more relevant results) the site is not returned at all. Puzzled and frustrated by this, I set about finding out why…..

It turns out that that only from country X tick box actually refers to the physical location that the website is hosted at (i.e. where the data centre is physically located), and is not anything to do with the make-up of the site or the domain name. Despite our site being registered via a major UK web hosting service, it is actually hosted in Sweden! Therefore, it is technically not from the UK. If you go to the Swedish version of any major search engine and tick the same box, the site is returned!

So now you know what that tick box does, and I know why my site is only being returned half of the time! (and I've got a very cheap plug in for my partner's website! :) )