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This 126 message thread spans 5 pages: 126 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 > >     
Google Introduces Geolocation "Extreme Version"
Impossible to break out of localized Taiwan Google

 12:25 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I live in Taiwan, and often use a computer running a Chinese OS. In the past when I went to google in defaulted to the Taiwan Google, but there was a link on the home page saying "Google in English" or something like that.

But now (since yesterday?) that "Google in English" link has disappeared. But what's WORSE is that even when I go to www.google.com I'm still seeing the Taiwan Chinese language interface!

If this is some new fangled "innovation" cooked up by that battery of PhD's then I must say, it sucks. I want my English www.google.com back. Please.



 12:36 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have the same here out of Thailand.
if I go to www.google.com or google.com, I am right away redirected to Google Thailand.

Only after 3 or 5 times trying does it no more redirect.
Tourists here in the many Internet-Cafe's are not getting on to the page of www.google.com but are getting a Google page in Thai-language.

Very Strange Stuff,



 12:50 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Sanuk, what exactly are you doing to break out of it? I have tried Ctrl-Refresh 100 times on www.google.com, but I am stuck with Chinese language.

Yeah, I know I can go to www.google.com.au and get an English/Aussie Google, but stone the bloody crows mate, tie me kangaroo down sport, I DON'T WANT Google Down Under, I wan't the fair dinkum www.google.com! This is nuts.


 1:09 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you go to [news.google.com...] and click on the "Web" tab you will get the following URL:

Don't try and cut the trialing stuff off or it will refresh back to the local version again.

This works for now but it will probably be changed in the future.



 1:17 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good find Chuma. That worked, thanks.

I wonder what on earth Google is playing at with this patronizing geolocation trap? Maybe this is the beginning of tailormade "google for dictators" results. Saudi Arabia and China will be thrilled.


 5:34 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm. Are other people seeing this? I can ask around--I would think that the "Google in English" link should always be there..


 5:38 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Google in English" has become "Google.com" in the Netherlands (google.nl) since yesterday.

It is an "international english" google though (the same as before) as far as I can tell.

Same goes for .be .de .fr


 6:57 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Vitaplease, (I am using a pc with traditional chinese OS, and I'm located in Taiwan...) when I go to google.nl I see a dutch language google. When I click the "google.com" link I get chucked back "google with chicken scratchings:, i.e. google with traditional chinese characteristics. It's OK that google defaults to what ite guesses might be the prefered language of the user (based on IP and browser/OS version), but it's infutiating that there is no easy way out of the trap.


 7:04 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another example of "cloacking went ugly".


 7:05 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is "Google.com" in Italy, too, but it seems to work just like the old "Google in English" link.


 7:08 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes this geptargeting really needs to be sorted out. The example of english (or german or other) speaking tourists or expats in Thailand is a good one. Many Thais also prefer to search in English. I remember at one stage Altavista insisted on sending me to AV UK when connecting from Malaysia - there is absolutely no reason why the AV UK results would be better for me in malaysia than the AV US or AV OZ. Better let the user decide, even if it means they get less well targeted ads. IId say the loss would be minimal as only a small percentage would opt for something other than the default (that goes for about anything on computers!)


 7:12 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Kyr01, are you using Italian or English/US OS? I am trying to figure out what google is using to decide what it is I see.


 7:12 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

If its any help, for the first time today after reading this discussion i went to www.google.com from Bangkok thailand. My alert box came up asking whether i would accept a cookie from www.google.co.th. I rejected the cookie as my Thai reading abilities are fiarly limited and then it tried www.google.com and i got a 404.

Something is up for sure which needs to be sorted out!


 7:19 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Kyr01, are you using Italian or English/US OS?

NeverHome, I would not be suprised if it really has to do with your location only. Redirecting is not an easy thing to implement for everyone :)


 7:41 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


Using a English/US OS I can not get "Google.com" now anymore out of Thailand. . . . I get 404 or are forced to "Google Thailand" in Thai-language.

I dont read a word of Thai as I am one of the many Expats living here.

Untill yesterday, when redirected to "Google Thailand", by opening a second window, I could connect to "Google.com", aslong as the first window stayed open on "Google Thailand".

Any second-hand search engines for sale?



 7:52 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sanuk, have you tried entering www.google.com/en?


 7:57 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Sanuk, have you tried entering www.google.com/en?

sanook and sinner.. that directs me to thai language google with NO cookie that i detected.

[added later] However clicking on the google.com link does go to english language google, and it does seem the results are normal google for the former, without Thai language pages.[/]

This is crazy. A significnat majority to people in Thailand do not speak Thai, and these are often those who use the internet more. Expats, tourists who crowd the cybercafes, and people who speak Laos and Kymer and almost no Thai! They wont have the benefit of WebmasterWorld to find out how to do it.

For detail im using Loxinfo dial up from a laptop. loxinfo is one of the largest ISP's in Thailand.

[edited by: chiyo at 8:05 am (utc) on May 19, 2003]


 8:01 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Sinner_G, good tip. When I use that I do get an "english language" version of google. However, the google logo includes chinese text, and I suggest that that means the results I will see are those google (and participating governments) have determined are fit for (in my case) chinese eyes.


 8:11 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Keep your shirt on Sanook and have a Singha! I agree its not great but this..

>>So. . . Google which penalizes redirects, is clogging my website, and doing "a forced redirect on my website"! <<

is a bit over the top! I would hate to think that anyody who links to me would complain when we changed the content/redirect on OUR link! We cant possibly let eveyone know who links to us, ad presume its their reponsibility to check their outgoing links.


 8:38 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


I dont agree!

There are Google's in many languages.
I run a "English Language website" in Thailand.
As a little service to visiting Tourists, when they use a computer in the hotel or an Internet Cafe, I am putting links to "English versions of Search Engines".
I dont put a link to a site, where users dont understand or even can read the language and they first even need to download Thai-fonts to be able to see the pages.

How would you feel, if lets say, you are running a news-feed in English language, on lets say the topic of boxing.
You put a link on your website to an Yahoo-news (in English) about a boxing match in the US somewhere.

Some Tourist visiting India or China or Russia, clicks on your link because he is very interested in this news-story.
And he is forced-redirected to the same story but in Indian, Chinese or Russian language and from his geographic position he is not authorized to vist the site in his own mother-language, being English.

What about the moderators of this board, lets say they would start forcing every one that comes on this board to a version in the language of the country they are connecting from?

Or even worse, if Google can do this, what about hotmail forcing people to a page in the local language.
So that any English speaking business-man or tourist going to France or the Fidji-Islands is forced to the entry page of Hotmail in "The Local Language" language and he/she is forbidden to connect to "Hotmail in English"?

Or even Google starting to "translate the search results" in the local language of the country you are connecting from.

You see this thing could go very far, if any webmaster in the world is no more sure that the link he puts on his page will be the same link for everyone.



 8:41 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Something new for me when connecting to Google.com from Germany:
After some frustrating forced redirects to G.de now in some cases they let me view the com version.
But, look at this lovely menu:
Advertise.. - Business.. - Services.. - Jobs.. - Google Deutschland

They know where you are and what you want.


 8:49 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Advertise.. - Business.. - Services.. - Jobs.. - Google Deutschland

Same for Switzerland, with Google Switzerland instead of Deutschland (interestingly enough, it's Switzerland and not Schweiz, Suisse or Svizzera).

<added>Another strange thing: If I browse with IE, I always get redirected, using Opera mostly not. Can anyone confirm this?</added>


 8:53 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

My results (German-language browser/Windows; German ISP):

- www.google.com shows German-language page
- link "www.google.com" in the lower right points to [google.com...]
- after clicking on that link www.google.com is in English, albeit with a localized link "Google Deutschland".


 8:56 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google.nl also renewed this morning. In stead of "Google in English" it says 'Google.com'. Clicking on it gives a "Google Nederland" option. Great!

I have a Dutch OS, wonder if this also happens with English OS?


 8:56 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

So much for the WorldWideWeb. Thank you Google.

All for the user, of course. Nothing to do with selling and controlling ads.


 8:58 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


I can not reach to [google.com...]
I am forced-redirected to [google.co.th...]
being Google-Thailand in Thai-language.



 9:16 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

HitProf, here in Belgium using an English OS, it shows up as www.google.com as well.

Even with English OS, the auto redirect to .be in French or Dutch has been going on, in one form or another, for a few months now anyway.


 9:23 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Sanuk..

>>They can nearly not find you any-more inside google from South-East-Asia!<<

Are you sure, or are you just generalising your findings to other nations? Are there any users from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia or the other ASEAN nations here who can confirm? In the case of the first 3, the accepted business language is english anyhow and i dont think at least in Sing and Malaysia, that google has local language versions in Bahasa Melayu that are default.

I know that all our pages are available from google from Thailand and have asked our offices in other countries to check. [added]Malaysia and Singapore is OK too.

Just a suggestion. You may want to change the english lanaguage google link on your page to the google.com/en link and tell users to click on google.com from it. Even on the thai lanuage version from /en the results are all in English, even though the interface is not. Alternatively if it causes a problem for your users, just remove the google link.

[edited by: chiyo at 9:27 am (utc) on May 19, 2003]


 9:24 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google knows best, if you get redirected it is simply a subtle way of telling you to learn the language of the host nation. What right do you have to live in a country where you can't be bothered to learn the national language and culture?

FYI, the above is total rhetoric! Google needs to get a life and stop imposing itself on others when it is not wanted!


 9:34 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


>>or are you just generalising your findings to other nations?<<

Google forbits me to answer your question, as google forbits me to connect to Google-sites of other nations, even the neigboring country of Vietnam, Malaysia and/or Singapore. . . because I am in Thailand!

The only thing I can get is search results in Thai!
and from a database of 6 months old!

Thats the reason I want to show this screen-shot in GIF


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