Google ignores country domain and delivers search results on detected location

The days of changing the country code in the Google domain to see another country's results are over.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Google is doing away with using the country code element of its domain name to decide which version of its search results to serve users, and will instead serve the user results based on detected location.

This means that regardless of whether a user searches from google.com, google.co.uk, or google.com.au, for instance, the search giant will only return one set of results based on where the search engine believes the user is located.

The option to change the country used by Google has been squirrelled away into the search engine's settings page.

"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," Google product manager Evelyn Kao said a blog post.

As a result of the changes, Google has added a strap at the bottom of its search page to denote which country has been detected.

Google said its desktop search and maps products, Google app on iOS, and mobile web services will be impacted by the change, and will bring those products in line with how YouTube, Blogger, Google Earth, and Gmail operate.

"We're confident this change will improve your Search experience, automatically providing you with the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location," Kao said.

Last week, the search giant's parent company, Alphabet, posted third-quarter net income of $6.73 billion from $27.8 billion of revenue.

For its part, Google contributed $27.5 billion in revenue, up from $25.76 billion during the previous quarter.

In Alphabet's "moonshot" Other Bets category -- which includes Waymo, Nest, Fiber, Alphabet's healthcare-driven initiatives, and other speculative projects -- the company posted revenue of $302 million, with operating losses increasing slightly to $812 million. Last quarter, losses in this category totalled $772 million.

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