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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.
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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:(
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 ;).
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.
"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.
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 ;) ;) ;).
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.
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! :(
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 !
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).