Google has just updated the functioning of its search engine to display local results based on the user’s geographic position and no longer on the Google domain on which the search is carried out. So how can you now retrieve and view local search results? We explain all this very simply!
Use a Chrome SEO extension to view local natural results from any country
Thanks to the free Chrome SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch extension, it is possible to preview and analyze SEO search results of any query for any country and version of Google.
This free extension can be downloaded here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/seo-search-simulator-by-n/edfjfgjklednkencfhnokmkajbgfhpon
Google updates the functioning of its search engine
Until now, a search in French from France on the Google.ch search engine gave us a overview of local search results, as they were displayed to a Swiss Internet user searching in French from Switzerland.
If this trick of changing the domain name (and potentially the language) of the search engine could prove useful for manually view local search results from another country, Google has announced a change in how it works that put an end to this trick.
From today, the search results, regardless of the domain on which they will be carried out (Google.ch, Google.us or Google.fr for example) will all return the same search results because Google now relies on our geographic location to determine which SERP to display to us.
While this update to how Google works should not directly impact SEO clicks from natural search results, search results should normally be more optimized for user experience.
How to bypass this Google update and thus see any search results page for any country?
Lucky for SEOs (and others) who like being able to see what’s going on in other countries and languages, Google offers an option on its home page allowing you to choose the country of your choice as the geographical location.
This option is only available on the Google home page and not on all SERPs, so it is not possible to switch from a French SERP to a Belgian SERP for the same keyword in one click: too bad…
On the other hand, it is always possible to change the language of the search results from the advanced search parameters. but it will not change your geographic location and it will therefore not be local results even if these will be different from the French results.
If it will not be possible to display local SEO results at the level of a city, this option already allows to have a vision of the SERP at the level of a country, which is already not too much. bad for all SEOs who optimize their local SEO in many countries or simply have a site available in several languages.
How does it work in practice to consult Google search results for any country?
You have to be motivated, rest assured, there are only 8 simple steps:
- 1- Go to the home page of Google.fr or any extension of your choice and check the country taken into account for your searches
- 2- Click on the right of your screen on ” Settings“=>” Search parameters”
- 3- Go find the section ” Region settings »By scrolling a little once the page has loaded
- 4- Select the country of your choice to set as the search location and save
- 5- Check at the bottom right of the Google home page that the country has been updated
- 6- Make the request of your choice in the language adapted to the selected country
- 7- In the search results, then go to ” Settings “=>” Languages “And select the language of your choice in the” Display search results in: »(This step is very important, see screenshot below)
- 8- Have fun looking at local search results!
When might it be useful to use this technique to verify local search results?
Here are some purely SEO use cases but there are dozens of them depending on each person’s specialties:
- To check the correct configuration of your hreflang and see if your local version has been given priority by Google in a given country (if you want to launch your site internationally, do not forget to consult our guide on SEO at international)
- To spy on a competitor who has launched internationally and follow its development
- To check the competition of a query in another market
- Check the Google functionalities deployed or not in a targeted market (ex: questions / answers in UK)