I haven't been using Live.com all that much lately, and just noticed today that it seems to be regionalising results automatically. I.e., being in Australia, live.com is automatically serving results focused towards, but not necessarily from, Australia. They have added an "Australia Only" tick box which indeed does only return results from Australia, but there seems to be no simple way of turning off the regioanlisation for general results.
If I go to live.com I expect to see global results. If I want local MSN results, then I will go to nineman.com.au and search there.
Is this new or I am behind a little? Regardless, I don't like it at all. Woz Not Happy!
I see a few local listings at the top if I search for something like "sushi" or "pizza". I'm seeing a few local listings in Tokyo for shops. (However I'm in the other half of the country.) I don't see a Japan tick box though.
It's definitely true. At first glance, a normal search looks like an "Australia only" search, and that's for pretty much any search term at all. (I commented on this a couple of weeks ago [webmasterworld.com]! :-)
Maybe they are using Australia as a testing ground for local search. There seem to be enough sites that could be tagged as "local Australia" (through whois, hosting, or cc TLD) to support strong SERPS for pretty much anything.