People who frequently travel may be glad to hear that Google is changing the way it labels country services on the mobile web, Google app for iOS and desktop Search and Maps. Now, instead of using the country code top-level domain name (i.e. google.co.nz), Google will default to the country where the user is undertaking the search.
By switching to a location-based response, Google is making its search results more relevant. According to Google, one in five searches are now location-related, so this change will make its answers more appropriate and accurate. We live in an era where it’s not uncommon to hop back and forth between countries, and now Google will keep up with the user’s travels.
Google wrote in their blog: “So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.”
Typing the relevant domain location into a browser will no longer return the appropriate country services. Now, users will need to go into their settings and select the country service they want, if they don’t see the relevant country while browsing. This extra step exists to ensure Google is corresponding to the correct location.
Google wrote, “This preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using.” They went on to say that this update will improve overall search experience by automatically providing users with “… the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.”8 November 2017