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Google strengthens "auto detect" user location search preferences

     
7:09 am on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google has put stronger "auto detect" user location search preferences onto it's filters on the left hand panel. You can adjust this to your desired location, although i haven't tested this yet.

Here is Australia it's down to State level for the first time , used to be at country level. Is anyone else seeing this in other regions on the default display ?
1:30 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yup, see exactly the same up here in google.ca (canuck eh!) and ours comes up at the city level...ie Auto-detect shows my city, not province!

Gonna study this too, eh!

:-)

Jim
1:41 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Luckily not on Google.co.uk. Hopefully they won't try. My landline location supposedly skips around most of southern England (both current and previous ISPs) while my mobile connecton always shows as Manchester, which I haven't visitied for 40 years.
1:55 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If i need to search for what is around my home, i don't need google's help.

Personalization in any form including localization is a bane to internet and these search engines are trying to project as it being useful...annoying indeed...
1:58 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If they do want to dish us personalized/localized results, that should be an option on the left and should never be the default...
2:24 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In google.ca I see a "Search near" location box where you can set the location.Is it defaulting to your location?
4:39 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ok, it does default to the location but i think you can set it to some other location too...
10:02 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I guess it will enable the correction of mistakes when Google gets it wrong, and probably of greater significance will be the ability to test the user experience of folks in other regions and what they see.
10:14 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Whitey,

Being in Australia, you must know how inaccurate Google has been at location targeting. Have you noticed any improvements in their results?

I'm in Sydney, but I don't see the state level options yet. I have tried signing in and on a couple of different pc's.
10:28 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen any extensive tests , this was just a personal experience. But on the few queries i put together it made no difference.

Here's a screenshot [seroundtable.com...] but it looks like it's disappeared since it was taken. So maybe Google is experimenting.

One thing i noticed was the inability to adjust outside of the country when you access via a regional SERP. ie , you can't swap your location in Australia on google.com.au to say New York
11:07 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Whitey,

You know what? It's now just started appearing for me but it's not auto detecting my location for some reason.

AdWords knows I'm in Sydney and is displaying the Sydney, NSW under the ads so it's strange that it's not being picked up on the other side.
12:38 am on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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According to the Google blog, this functions\ already existed. What they've done is made it easier to find and use.

You used to be able to see and control your location settings, but it was a little clunky. To see your settings, you could click "View customizations" on the results page and to modify them you could click "Change location" next to a variety of search results, such as maps and movie listings...

The new interface is rolling out now and will be available in more than 40 languages soon. We're not changing anything about how we use location information to improve search.

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 4:43 pm (utc) on Oct 21, 2010]

2:28 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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i was able to set my location to "USA"

It removed most of my local results :)