How to see search results from another country
Updated Nov 20, 2017 to show a couple of new workarounds.
Google just made a big change that is going to really mess up how many SEOs do their work. Google just released a post entitled, "Making search results more local and relevant."
What they are doing now is making it so that you will always see the search results that are relevant to the country which you are in. While this might be good for users, it's a real pain for those of us who want to check the rankings of clients who are in another country.
Most of you know that I am in Canada. If I do a search to check rankings for a US client, I will go to google.com/ncr and in the past, this would give me US search results. But since this change happened, that no longer works, even in incognito.
Here is an example. I typed in google.co.uk which should take me to Google UK. However, you can see that I am still seeing Google Canada:
For now, there are a few workarounds. It does seem to work to append your url with ?gl=. For example, if I go to google.com/?gl=us, I can see google.com results as if I were searching from the US. Similarly, I can go to google.com/?gl=uk to see what I used to be able to see on google.co.uk.
Hopefully Google doesn't disable the ability to append urls!
Another option that would likely work is to use different Chrome users. You can do this by "People" in the Chrome menu and "Add person". Then, you can go to the Chrome settings menu to select your region for that user. It defaults to "current region" but you can have a user for each country in which you have clients.
Dale Davies also suggested adding a shortcut to search settings which could help save some time. I've just gone to chrome://settings/searchEngines and clicked on "add" and created the following shortcut:
Now, when I want to search on Google.com, I just enter gus into the search bar and I will see US search results.
Here is a video that talks about this in more detail:
Updated November 20, 2017 - The workaround may not be working
We noticed that the workaround of adding ?gl=us to the end of the url is not always working. It seems to work for us if we are logged in, but not if we are doing an incognito or logged out search. But, this workaround to the workaround is still working for us. Let's say you were trying to get Google Australia results:
- In the url bar, go to Google.com/?gl=au. You'll likely be redirected to the Google for your country. This is what we saw after trying this:
- Once again, go up to the url bar and change the version of Google to Google.com. This time append &gl=au to the end of the url. This time it's an ampersand gl, not question mark:
- Now when you hit enter, you should be on Google Australia:
Does this change affect you? I'd love for you to leave a comment with your thoughts.