SharkSEO posted last week a theory behind the problems we’ve been seeing in the UK SERPs. For a full explanation head over to the post but the basic premise is that Google is using related searches to drive some of the results in the UK rankings.
So if a large number related searches mentions of foreign locations it could effect the results in the listings. The example given was “tennis courts for rent” where related searches included “tennis courts hire Singapore”, “tennis courts hire Perth” and “tennis courts for tent Chicago”.
This then leads to Google preempting your 2nd search so they start to show related results already for the 1st search. The idea is to reduce the number of searches thus giving you a relevant result first time round. But it does not seem to working in the UK SERP’s if SharkSEO theory is correct.
Not all the problematic key phrases in the UK SERPS have related searches that include foreign locations. If you have a UK SERP overun with websites from abroad then check out the related searches. To do this click search options and then related searches.