Users’ location is a major factor for returning Google search results.

Geo-located search results were introduced in 2015. Since that moment search results have depended on users’ location. In October Google announced changes in geo-location settings.

Localised search results until now

It’s not a big secret that search results depend on users’ location. Since 2015 geo-location has been related to search engines’ country code domain. It means that geographically determined search results depend not so much on actual users’ location but on search engine country service settings. For example, if users’ use google.co.uk search results are relevant for UK. Still, users while being in UK can use German or Polish country service – in this case they receive different results.

Changes in localised search results

On 27 October Google has announced changes in geo-location. Changes concern both desktop and mobile search engines and Google application and Google Maps. This update aims to improve search results’ accuracy.

Search results from now on depend on local IP address, not on search engine geographical settings. Hence, it’s only now that true users’ geographical location matters. Users’ receive geo-located search results based on their actual IP address, search engine settings don’t matter anymore. Users’ location will change every time they move.

Geo-located search results and users' location

This solution can definitely create problems. People staying on holiday abroad will receive results adequate to their current geographical location. They won’t be able to check search results from another search engine settings. What happens when users would like to use British search engine and get relevant UK search results?

It’s still possible, users just need to change their search settings and select relevant country service.

Geo-located search results and SEO

Common users probably won’t even notice these changes. If they do, it’s during foreign travels, but then it’s easy to change search results.

Still, SEO specialists aren’t happy with these changes, because tools used for keywords ranking analysis using proxy servers can return incorrect results. In case of one country it’s easy to set proxy IP, yet when we’re checking few countries the situation becomes complicated and need to be set many times.