People can't fool Google anymore, or at least not as easily. Before, users could access a different Google domain — like, say, Google.com.au — to get search results from that country specifically — even if the person performing the search isn't anywhere near that place.
Google Just Changed How Search Results Work
But now, Google will begin serving users local search results instead, regardless of what domain they use. So, even if a person searches for something using the Australian Google domain, they'll still get search results based on their current whereabouts.
The option to change countries has been relegated under the search engine's Settings page.
As Google writes in a blog post announcing the change, people will receive a specific country service depending on where they live. But suppose they travel to another country, their search results will automatically be based on the country where they traveled to. Then, once they return, Google search results will change again, reverting back to the default country service.
So, if a U.S. Google user travels to Japan and at some point while there performs a Google search, results will be Japan-based. Once they return home, Google will go back to serving them U.S.-based results. It's pretty nifty.
As part of the changes, the main Google search page now includes a strap at the bottom indicating which country has been detected. It'll affect other Google apps as well, including Maps, Blogger, YouTube, Earth, and even Gmail.
"We're confident this change will improve your Search experience, automatically providing you with the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location," said Google.
How To Get Search Results From Another Country
For users who still want to get country-specific search results, that's still possible. Simply go to the Settings page and look for the drop-down menu called "Regions for Search Results" to set the location preferred. It's a handy way of getting localized results for another country even for users who aren't physically there.
Why was this change implemented, though? Why fix what isn't broken? Well, Google says it wants to make sure that when a user tries to search for something, they'll get the most relevant results possible, and where the user is located plays a huge part in that. If, for example, a person out and about in Ireland tries to search for the best pubs around town, Google automatically knows the user wants to specifically search for best pubs in Ireland, not their home country or anywhere else.
Thoughts about this change in localized search results? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!