Irish People Keep Getting the U.K. Tesco Version and it’s Annoying

Irish People Keep Getting the U.K. Tesco Version and it’s Annoying

Imagine this. You are Irish. You live in Ireland. I mean, The Republic of Ireland. You want to buy clothes from Tesco. So you go to Google, start typing tesco clothing and you click on the website that pops up. You choose your best fit and want to buy it. And – damn! – it’s only available in the U.K.


Users in Ireland search for tesco clothing.


Not shipping to Dublin

Snap! They do not ship to Dublin.

This is what actually happens when you, as a typical Irish customer, start purchasing the item, not aware that it is not available in Ireland.

So, why the heck does the U.K. version outrank the Irish version? Let’s find out.

We are actually talking about two versions of Tesco Clothing


Tesco Clothing U.K.

The U.K. version of Tesco Clothing has a good internal navigational structure which reflects in URL structure.



Tesco Clothing Ireland

The Irish version is, unfortunately, lacking a good navigational structure. The URL is a dynamic version of the root URL, which is a default URL page for any product within the Tesco Groceries selection.

What happens when the regional URL structure does not reflect the market’s needs?

Google and other search engines do not see any difference between this dynamic URL and this URL. To them they are the same. Essentially, all backlinks that these URLs collect are blended and attributed to the generic root URL. In other words it means that you can not really promote any products there, because all your efforts end up in the same spot.

The importance of being ernest…and having market-friendly URLs

They attract local backlinks and anchor texts.

backlinks UK version

U.K. version – backlinks

Backlink geographical distribution

  • 25% links from the U.K. – good
  • tesco clothing keywords – good
backlinks Irish version

Irish version – backlinks

Backlink geographical distribution

  • 21% links from Ireland – good
  • no tesco clothing keyword (as the URL is not product-specific) – bad


Would Hreflang help here?

Nope. When the URL itself is not relevant to the search query, geographical location is not a strong enough factor that would serve the URL to the right users. Even if Hreflang was actually implemented.


Solution = Do it like IKEA

Market-friendly site architecture is the bedrock of any market-related activities. Without relevant content to their queries, users will end up on a different version of your website. IKEA uses subdirectories for targeting different markets. This is yet another example when ccTLDs (like as a geo-signal are not strong enough for the websites to rank in the proper markets. Whether you are using ccTLDs or subdirectories, make sure to align your marketing and SEO activities with your respective targeting.

IKEA Great Britain

IKEA United Kingdom


IKEA Ireland

IKEA Ireland

How does this reflect in backlinks? Unique backlinks attract unique anchor texts. A page about beds attracts backlinks with anchors containing…wait for it…beds!

Ikea beds

Google has no doubt that this page is about beds and intended for Irish users.

Want to check your website for geotargeting errors? Enter your website URL in the blue box below and get a free international SEO assessment.


Martin Kura

Founder & CEO at GFluence and international SEO strategist. Passionate about food, beer and cultures of the world.

Entries by Martin Kura