Viewing Google Search Results From a Custom Location

Why would you want to see the Google Results from a custom location?

Here’s the problem we were faced with; we work with a number of clients all over the world, and want to replicate the exact Google results that they see. What we see on Google.com.au from the UK isn’t the necessarily the exact results that someone in Australia would see in Google.com.au for the same term. You’ll possibly not be able to see the ads that have just been set to show to someone in Australia, and your 3 pack results might not also show.

We tried Virtual Private Networks coupled with Google Incognito and different browsers, however, Google would be able to detect either through cookies, online history, ip address, etc that we weren’t really in Australia. We also found it incredibly difficult to be able to pinpoint our location to specific neighbourhoods and towns where we wanted to check results.

This easy trick can save you hours of having to navigate through a sea of VPN’s and pay-wall restricted tools to see Google’s search engine results page (SERP) as if you are viewing from a completely different location!

Many people are unaware of some of the fantastic tools that Google has integrated with Google Chrome. From being able to inspect elements to SEO & page-speed audits Google Chrome has plenty to offer in helping us growing our understanding of Search Engine Optimisation and giving useful insights in to how to improve how our websites work in the modern, competitive era of responsive designs and well optimised content!

Step 1 – Opening a Google Chrome Incognito Window

This method is best done on a computer rather than mobile or tablet device.

First, you’ll need to open Google Chrome in an incognito window, this can be done either by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right corner of your browser window and selecting “new incognito window” or simply by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N simultaneously on your keyboard. The reason we use an incognito window is that famously it doesn’t store browser cookies, search history, or any other information that is liable to interfere with Google’s SERP. We are, as such, viewing as if we are a fresh Google Chrome user with no information saved which Google will use to try to target adverts and tailor search results.

Incognito Mode

Step 2 – Opening Google Chrome Developer Tools

Secondly we must open up the Google Chrome Developer Tools. Again, there are 2 methods for this. We can either press CTRL+SHIFT+I simultaneously, or just simply press the F12 button. When we reach Google Developer Tools we can see a number of options available.

Step 3 – Navigating to Sensors Option

Congratulations, you have successfully made it to the Google Chrome Developer Tools! We can now toggle the Drawer at the bottom using the ESC key, or selecting the 3 dots in the top right, navigating to “More Tools” on the menu and selecting “Sensors”. This will expand to reveal 2 new options, Console & Sensors. If Sensors is selected we will see a “Geolocation” setting. The default value in the drop-down selector should say “No override”. Once we click on this drop-down we will be offered several preset options; Berlin, London, Moscow, Mountain View, Mumbai, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Toyko and Location Unavailable.

Chrome developer console sensors setting

Step 4 – Setting a Custom Location Override

To set this to a custom location we must first know the coordinates of where we would like to search from. For this example, the location I have decided to search from the famous Dark Hedges featured in Game of Thrones!

Step 5 – Finding Coordinates of Target Location

Finding Coordinates is possible in a few different ways. Some resources which are useful for finding coordinates are Wikipedia, which often has coordinates listed on the Wiki pages of cities, areas and landmarks, and Google Maps. In Google maps to find coordinates for a location simply navigate to your target location on Google Maps, right click and select “What’s Here?”. This will open a small box at the bottom of your Google Maps view giving you the coordinates of where your cursor was when you clicked “What’s Here?”.

Google Maps What's Here?

Step 6 – Entering Coordinates to Geo-location Sensor

Please note when entering your coordinates that positive values are for North and East, whilst negative values are given for South and West. We must ensure that you include the “-” sign before any South & Western longitude and latitude values. Make sure that the latitude values and longitude values are entered into the correct fields. Once this is done we can move on to the next step.

Step 7 – Refresh Your Browser Tab

Once you have successfully entered the coordinates of the location you would like to search from it is a good idea to refresh your Incognito Google Chrome browser tab. This can be done by pressing F5.

Step 8 – Searching From Your New Location

You have now successfully changed your search location! All you need to do now is open Google and search for your keyword! Please note, when Google asks to know your location it is imperative that you accept, otherwise your location settings will not work.

 

 

To ensure your location has been properly set please check the bottom of your Google SERP, check that the location has been updated to the new area you’re searching from. In the below example you will see I’ve set mine to Bushmills. If this hasn’t updated, click “Update Location”. If Google gives you a popup asking to share your location this will update immediately.

google-update-location

If you are still having problems adjusting your location after following these steps you must ensure that you have not blocked Google Chrome accessing your location. You can check, and fix this problem by navigating to location settings under “content”. You can access your location settings by typing or pasting “chrome://settings/content/location” into your navigation bar on Google Chrome. Check that “Google” is not listed under the “Block” section and if it is, remove it. Once this has been done and you have changed your coordinates you should see your new location at the bottom of the SERP like in the example above.Google Chrome Location Settings

 

Need a hand?

If you need help finding new customers either locally, or further afield don’t hesitate to get in touch! Here, at Codefixer we have years of experience working with businesses to get the most out of their online marketing! We offer fully managed services such as PPC, SEO, WordPress Development as well as 5* Training in Google, AdWords & SEO for businesses looking to take their digital marketing to the next level!

By |2018-10-17T11:24:48+00:00October 10th, 2018|News|0 Comments