Google geolocation change. How to see SERPS from another country.

How to see search results from another country

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:

google geolocation uk

 

The workaround

For now, there are a few workarounds. It does seem to work to append your url with ?gl=[country code]. 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:

 

Does this change affect you? I’d love for you to leave a comment with your thoughts.

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3 Comments
  1. I was facing the same issue yesterday and was scratching my head, glad to find the information here. Thanks Marie.

  2. Why wouldn’t you use google search console to pull a report?

    • I love GSC and do actually use it for ranking reports for sure.

      What I think will be annoying about this change, however, is quick checks. It’s really common for us to be doing a site assessment and want to spot check rankings or do some competitor comparisons. As I can’t see competitor rankings in GSC, then I really do need to see the actual rankings in the correct country.

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Marie Haynes is the founder of HIS Web Marketing, formerly at www.HISWebMarketing.com. In 2015, she rebranded the company to Marie Haynes Consulting Inc.
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