If you are one of those who used Google to find info of localities other than your own, you’re out of luck now. Because Google has just shut that door. Earlier, users could enter country specific domains like Google.co.uk, Google.co.jp to get results specific to that country. So now if you’re in India and visit Google.co.jp, you’ll still be directed to Google.co.in.
That is now the default state of things. However, you can still escape this new setting by accessing the settings menu at the bottom of Google.com. On the desktop, it is in the bottom while you have to scroll in the mobile version.
Why is Google doing this? Well, the king of Internet search says that it is important to tailor content or search results to the user and his/her location. The company also says that 1 out of 5 searches is location-based. Some suggest the new change is aimed towards travellers. With the latest change, Google will detect the location of the searcher, and automatically present to him the ideal results relative to his location.
The change is relatively new for the Search engine while other services like Youtube and Gmail have already been operating with the same principles. From now on, it will also apply to desktop, mobile, iOS Google app, and Google Maps.
Here is how Google Product Manager, Evelyn Kao, put it in a blog post:
“Today, we’ve updated the way we label 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, you’ll be served the country service that corresponds to your location.