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Google Redirects
Google Belgium now open

 4:00 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Today I typed www.google.com and was redirected to www.google.be.



 7:56 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I saw my first referrers coming from google.be at feb 7th, with traffic rising untill the 14th. Seems steady now.

People from the Netherlands are not redirected to google.nl, though I do think I remember they were at one point.
Maybe it's their way of introducing the new domain extension and they will remove the redirect again later.

Doing seo from the Netherlands, can't say I'm happy with the default search options at google.be, the web, pages in English or pages from Belgium.
Google adds .net and .com domains to .be domains in Belgium only searches, but not .nl or .fr pages.

I'd rather see a language choice, English, French and/or Dutch, plus the web (for non-europeans: French and Dutch are the two most spoken languages in Belgium) Makes more sense from a searcher's perspective I think, plus my Dutch pages would still be seen by Belgium visitors preferring Dutch pages, not specifically Belgium pages, as I do think searchers will tend to take one of the three main options available to them.

The interface does feature the three language choices plus German.

At google.nl the choices are the web, or Dutch language pages, which includes all domain extensions including .be domains. I wonder why they chose a different search system for the Belgium version.

Still I'm not complaining too much..if they stick with this system, times are good for those with .be domains ... this will be a major dutch and french traffic source with low competition soon I bet.


 9:16 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Roland, hopefully you're in Belgium? Let me know if we got it wrong for you.

Damian, you're saying that .fr and .nl pages should be included in our .be search? Any other additions you think we should have?


 9:35 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy, yes I'm from Belgium but I don't speak dutch so you made a mistake...and I dont like cookies so you will make this mistake again and again ...

I'm not really happy with this move, first, when I type a url I don't like to be redirected, if I want to go to google.be I type google.be.
If I type www.google.com I'd like to stay there.
Second, my first language is french and without cookies you receive google.be in dutch, a language that I don't understand.
(Yes belgium is a small country but there is 3 official language there, french, dutch and german)

The last annoying part is that my website even if it is a .NET tld provide content for people in belgium (and all countries where you speak french or english) and it doesn't appear in the SERP.

How will you find if a .com, a .org or a .net is usefull to user from a specific country ? Language alone is not a sufficient criteria to select the right country :(.

Will you provide a url submission form with checkboxes to say I have content for these countries ?

In fact, when I search for something, I make my search in the language of the country I'm interested in, if it is not sufficient, I add place names to my query or I would make an "advanced search" and I limit the search to ".be" but I never do this actually.



 10:01 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Googleguy,

Thanks for asking.
At google.be the main search options are not the most spoken languages, so I really meant it would make more sense to offer a search in All languages, English, French, Dutch and possibly German as main options.
If you stick with the Belgium only search as one of the main options I think it would be better to also offer an option to search Dutch or French or German language pages.

I guess it all depends on what people are searching. For geographically specific information it makes sense to search only Belgium pages, from a language perspective I think it does not. I realize it's possible to search both ways, I just want to suggest the most spoken languages in Belgium should be part of the main search options.

Why the local search at all is what actually surprised me. I don't think you have a main search option for US only or Netherlands only, so why have one for Belgium ?


 10:33 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ahem, sorry if that sounded confusing, I only checked the Dutch interface. All language interfaces have an option to search in that particular language as I would expect, so I have no complaints.

What got me confused is the Dutch interface has an error in the translation, it says (in dutch) 'English pages' when it should really say 'Dutch pages'. I didn't check that at first and so I didn't understand the logic.


 11:23 pm on Feb 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey, I'll pass this feedback on back--thanks for the comments. Roland, I think that there is a "Google in English" link on the main google.be page--does that set a cookie to return you to google.com, or does that just move you to google.com once?


 8:12 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Part similar problem encountered in this thread

Googleguy, choosing the English version does set a cookie. Remove the cookie and your back to the local version. For locals always wanting the English version, Bird had the best suggestion bookmarking the english version www.google.com/en .

Damian, many people from the the Netherlands are redirected to .nl.

The positive side of these redirects is that it gives better country statistics of Google.


 9:47 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Damian, many people from the the Netherlands are redirected to .nl
I stand corrected.

I did notice google.nl taking over the lead in referrals somewhere during the last 4 (?)weeks for Dutch sites but didn't really investigate as overall referral numbers didn't change.

I think I missed the redirect because almost all machines I work with have the Google toolbar installed. Those machines are not redirected, the others are it seems.


 9:58 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)


I have to agree about the redirects.
I I type google.com i want google.com not a local version - do not try to second guess me.

People who speak french or dutch will know what the appropriate domain is for the localised version. Please refrain from doing this.

I hated it when AV started redirecting av.com to av.ie and it was one of the reasons i began to look elsehere for engines....

Just me 2 cents


 10:13 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I always assumed the logic of redirecting visitors to local versions is in making sure people don't bypass the ads targeted at them.


 10:21 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Luckily Google doesn't redirect to the google.co.uk version for me (as I live in the UK) -- if it did I would be very peeved.


 10:39 am on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)


If the ad's were the primary reason then they could just show the appropriate ad's at the .com site and not annoy people with the redirects.


 1:30 pm on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am sure that Google can promote all his local versions by promoting them istead of trying to force it down user's troats. I used to have a French interface on Google.com before I got redirected to the English interface of Google.ca.

The thing is not all about offering users local language preferences. It is not only about local adword placement. It has been mentionned here many times that one gets different SERPs by adjusting somes browsers preferences, and this bugs me. Adjusting SERP relevancy to local ereas must be a choice for users to make.

If I am looking for some local product I will use the yellow pages over Google.


 9:38 pm on Feb 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy, please remove the redirect from Google.com to Google.be.
It doesn't work.

I made a search for "demna" using the google toolbar (beta version + registry surgery to enable hidden features).

In the SERP I click on the link "http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:91GR6nlzIA0C:www.demna.com/main.html+demna&hl=en" and I'm redirected to the Google.be in dutch (you know, the language I don't understand ...) instead of the page from the cache:(

Are you trying to force the use of cookies in some way ?

I think you are making Teoma looking more and more appealing to half of the belgian population ...

If you want help to debug your redirection problems I could give a hand but the best way to do it is no redirection at all.

Put a link on your front page telling users that a new localised version of google website exist but dont force us please.

Also I'm redirected at home but not at work ...

And an other point:

When I want to go to www.google.com I'm forced to go to www.google.be but when I go to www.google.fr I stay there ... why ?

And since google is playing with two letter country code, what do you have at www.google.us ??? -> Nothing !

"Sorry, no information is available for the URL www.google.us

If the URL is valid, try visiting that web page by clicking on the following link: www.google.us
Find web pages that contain the term "www.google.us""

Maybe you should add "BETA" to the http response 302 ;).



 1:59 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looking at their new CPC Advertising program I understand the redirect need as well.

When advertising you can choose which country to advertise for, but also which language. For country they choose the IP address (99% correct according to Google). For language they choose the Google display language. This redirecting will help them be more accurate.


 2:22 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I understand the redirect need as well

"sneaky redirects" where condemned by GoogleGuy as SPAM. Now they use it themselves. I would appreciate for Google to play the game on the same grounds and by the rules they have set for all of us.

If they need users to go elsewhere may be they could advertise the local domain to local users they detected. They should tell users what is good about it and why they sould switch. Google could have some sucess at it.
If it is just for the sake of advertising revenues, they should have build some gizmo to switch only the ads, not to redirect users.

By carefully avoiding to tell what is really at the end of the fork, and by tring to force people to go where they dont want to.

Google is not Google anymore.


 6:44 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

When I type in www.google.com I'm redirected to www.google.nl... The thing is - I'm in Denmark.


 7:44 pm on Feb 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Scrix, make a mistake in the url and you will not be redirected.
Like for example www.goolge.com or www.google.net ...

Google Guy, have you seen www.Google.dk ? Is google really selling books in denmark ? Sure you said that 2002 will be a great year for google but I didn't expected that google would fight Amazon ;) ;) ;).



 11:50 am on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

>When I type in www.google.com I'm redirected to www.google.nl... The thing is - I'm in Denmark. :)

When I type www.google.com from the netherlands I'm now redirected to google.fr on some machines. Not on others on the same ip, and they also don't have google cookies..


 1:15 pm on Feb 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm in the uk and was redirected to google.nl throughout last evening when i entered google.com.


 2:29 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised Australia doesn't have its own
Google (google.com.au?). In New Zealand recently,
I noticed the redirect from www.google.com -
that annoyed me a bit, but I got used to it.
Could be a major nuisance if I was visiting
Japan or France or somewhere where the language
isn't English, though!


 2:35 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google.com.au is currently owned by an ISP - but for how long is the question.

Time will tell.



 2:45 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I now get a 302 page with cookies off, refferer logging and automatic redirection disabled.

( I love Opera! )

My preferences where for French interface at Google.com, when I get redirected (cookies off) I get the default English Google.ca. No travelling necessary. ;)


 2:57 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

av.com redirects me if im in malaysia to av.co.uk In thailand i stay at the normal one. work that one out. Oh well maybe we will respond to ads for central heating, fish and chips, pork pies, and thick coats.

Thankfully google seems to be leaving us alone.

Its all about targeting as other have said. There is no way that google will stop all the advantages that gives them. But obviously both AV and google have a long way to go before it works properly.


 2:57 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I always assumed the logic of redirecting visitors to local versions is in making sure people don't bypass the ads targeted at them.<

Nobody living in the Virgin Islands buys anything here! Far too expensive ... very few choices and many things (which most people living in the real world take for granted) are just not available here. The Virgin Islands are strictly a tourist destination and I'm not looking to go on holiday here ... that's what I do for a living!!!

Googleguy. I absolutely hate this ... please remove it or at least give us an option to choose google.com if you absolutely must redirect us! :(


 3:13 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hmm, my ISP changed IPs and now I'm redirected to ... .NL ! And I'm speaking french and live in Belgium.

where will we redirect you today ?" is your new slogan ?

This redirection game is really boring!

I type www.google.com that mean that I really want to go there ! I know that there is a whole bunch of two letters country code out there but I don't want that !


 5:33 pm on Mar 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I wrote this elsewhere and hope it helps in your case, Liane.

If you have cookies enabled then you can click "Google in English" on
the bottom right hand side of your regional Google home page. After
closing and re-opening your browser you should find that in future you
get the standard Google.

If you want to use a different language from English then you can go
to [google.com...] and click 'preferences'; change the
language and click 'Save Preferences'. In the future you should get
the non-regional Google in your preferred language.

If your browser does not return cookies, then you can set a browser
bookmark for [google.com...] and use that page. It
works just as www.google.com (apart from the redirects).

I know that I would find the redirects irritating if they affected UK
users, but I appreciate that Google gives the choice (unlike some
others who tried this sort of thing in the past).



 2:23 am on Mar 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks Calum! I'll give it a go. I don't accept cookies as a rule ... so will try the alternative and let you know if it works.


 6:04 am on Mar 4, 2002 (gmt 0)


type google.com instead of www.google.com, it works for me.

This 47 message thread spans 2 pages: 47 ( [1] 2 > >
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