How to Perform a Location Specific Google Search
By on October 19th, 2010

There are some situations when you may want to perform a location specific search on Google. For example – you are on a vacation and want to search for restaurants that serve thai food in the same city. Or you may want to look for historic places in a specific country using Google search.

Google makes it very easy to perform a location specific search. For some search queries, Google will automatically detect your location and serve local search results, as shown in the following example:

In the above example, I am using Google.co.in for the search query and seeing the location specific results. If the same query is performed on Google.com, the location is not detected.

Google has recently moved the location preferences on the left sidebar on Google search result pages, making it more easier to control your location preferences. If you are using a country specific Google search, your present location will be detected automatically, which can be changed by clicking the locations dropdown.

When you set the new location, the Google search result page will refresh and show local results from the same city (if available). This is very useful when you are performing special searches, some examples are shown below:

Knowing the sunrise time of a destination city

Finding Restaurants from a specific City

Finding Movie Showtimes in a specific city

The Google Public policy blog says

We do our best to automatically detect the most useful location, but we don’t always get it right—so in some cases you’ll want to change the setting. At other times, you may want to change your location to explore information relevant to another area. Meanwhile, Google has become much better at presenting this locally relevant content—so it felt like the right time to make this setting easier to find.

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.
  • David Hynes

    I have a query about how this works. From what I can see, the Google results are definitely changing based on the location. For example, if I search for “double glazing” without a location, Google shows me the equivalent of “double glazing belfast” which is great.

    My question is “how” do I make sure that Google knows the location of my business or website. Does it work it out from the content on the site, the details in Google Places, the physical location of the web server ? What criteria are used to determine the location of a particular website ?

    I have one website which comes up very high when the word “belfast” is tagged onto the search term but with that word, my site does not appear within the local search results.

    Many thanks, David.

 
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