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Local domain searches to be discontinued on Google
November 6, 2017, 2:50 pm
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Google has discontinued the ability to search local destinations by visiting the respective Google domains. For instance, to search locally in the US, you could visit google.com, or use google.co.jp to search in Japan.

Google announced last week that it will now deliver search results relevant to your current location, no matter which domain you visit.

Fortunately, it is still possible to escape this restriction and change locations by using the settings menu at the bottom of google.com. By going to settings and then ‘search settings’, you will still be able to pick a new location.

Google says it is making the change because one out of five searches “is related to location,” and the company feels it is critical to offer local information to provide the best results. The feature seems to be tailored most toward travelers: Google says that if you visit another country, it will automatically serve results local to where you’re visiting, and then switch back again as soon as you arrive home. Before, if a traveler had kept typing in their home country’s Google domain, they may not have gotten what Google sees as ideal search results.

The change will not affect how Google handles legal requirements, such as the removal of specific results under Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rule. Google clarified that users will see results removed appropriate for whichever location their search is set to; however, if the country they are physically in requires results to be removed no matter what, then results will get stripped out regardless of which location they choose.

Apparently this is how Google has been operating many of its existing services already, including YouTube and Gmail. The policy of always serving local results will now apply to desktop and mobile searches, as well as Google Maps and the iOS Google app.

 

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