David Goldstein - Google Changes Search Results So User Location More Important Than Requested ccTLD


    Up until late October, if you used a country-specific version of Google or typed a relevant ccTLD into your browser when searching online it would influence your search results. But no more. Google has made a change to their algorithms so your actual location influences search results.

    The reason for the change, Google explains, is today around one in five searches is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part in serving the most accurate information. The update affects the way Google labels country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps. Now the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by domain. Instead, by default, the search results served will relate to the country service that corresponds to the internet user’s location. So if you’re in Germany, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Germany, but when you travel to Austria, your results will switch automatically to the country service for Austria. Upon return to Germany, you will seamlessly revert back to the German country service.

    If for some reason the right country isn’t shown when browsing, it will still be possible to go into settings and select the preferred correct country service. Typing the relevant ccTLD into a browser will no longer bring the various country services—this preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page the current country service will be displayed.