Google feeds users local results in Maps and Search

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 28, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Google, Search

Google announced a change yesterday that affects which version of the company's Maps and Search services users get.

The change affects mobile and desktop searches and Maps access, and returns local results to users regardless of top level domain they have accessed.

Google served country-specific content previously if a user from, say Canada, accessed Google's UK or Australian search or maps sites. While users sometimes had to click on the "give me results from" link to enforce this, the top level domain determined which results and services users got when they used Google services.

This process has been changed by Google. With it, Google users get local results in Maps and Search regardless of the domain they load in their browser of choice, or which Google application they open.

So, if you open from Germany, you do get German results when you run searches regardless of the choice you made. This is true even if you open the website using a browser's incognito mode, or using the option.

Google highlights the country service that you are using at the bottom of the page. The company has removed the option to switch to the country service associated with the domain name from the search results page, and moved the option to the settings instead.

Here is how that is done to switch Google Search to another region:

  1. Open the Google Search domain you want to use, e.g.
  2. Select Settings > Search Settings from the bottom of the page.
  3. Scroll down to the region settings section.
  4. Switch from "current region" to the region you want to get results from instead.
  5. Click on the save button.

The process is similar for Google Maps. The core difference is that you need to click on the menu icon when you are on the Google Maps website, and select Search Settings from it when it opens. The rest is identical.

A workaround exists that you may use to access specific country services manually. What you need to do is append &gl=[country code] to do so. Example parameters are &gl=us to set the region to United States, &gl=de to set the region to Germany, or &gl=jp to set it to Japan.

Simply change the country code to set a region.

You are probably wondering why Google made the change; according to Google, it is to "help ensure that you get the most relevant results based on your location", and because it is "consistent with how Google already manages" its services across other platforms such as YouTube or Blogger.

Google feeds users local results in Maps and Search
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Google feeds users local results in Maps and Search
Google announced a change yesterday that affects which version of the company's Maps and Search services users get.
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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

    1. E. Fromme said on September 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      EMRE ÇITAK posts are useless because they are fraught with inaccuracies and are irrelevant.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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