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 rightâ€”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 contentâ€”so it felt like the right time to make this setting easier to find.