The last days I'm getting much more local results on google.de than before (for default settings, not logged in and with no cookies). So far in Germany I got local results just for few searches (like 'pizza'). However, now the default results showing local results for almost every kind of searches.
I understand the idea when showing local results. And of course you can use 'Change Location' to change it.
However, for users it isn't helpful what Google did. Google should - just show local results in cases where most of the user searching for it instead of presenting them for almost everything (e.g. showing local results for 'veterinary' is fine but not for 'iphone') - clearly inform users that they made a big change in showing some notice and not just switch results without saying anything - make it easy to switch back to "global results" by showing e.g. a box at the top (as it is done in case of results of "Past 24 hours") which can easily removed
Currently it's hard to get "global results" and most of the people didn't even know that they get local results. I just found two ways to go back: Change the location to Germany (instead a local town) or using google.com (in German).
I'm not only unhappy as a user, I'm also seeing that this will lead to spamdexing Google. As a webmaster I'm forced to present Google results for any kind of local search. I can easily produce these kinds of pages. From a technical point of view there is no problem and I'm sure that these pages will also have a proper ranking if one use the right strategy . In the past I avoid this strategy because there might appear problems with duplicate content, it always looks a little bit spammy, we already had problem because GoogleBot found too many URLs on our website… and so on…
However, in my opinion I'm forced to "produce" artificial new pages (without having more or better content) by this change. And of course, this isn't helpful for the users. And I’m sure that some day in the future Google will fight against these kinds of pages, but currently I'm not seeing any option to this strategy... or did I overlook something?
Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.
Yes, it guess you're right and it's only an export for some non-english Google versions. So far in Germany Google showed local results only for a minority of search results. Now I'm seeing it for all searches I tried. In my opinion this change is bad for user, bad for webmasters and it will be bad for Google in the future...