Google has announced that users will no longer be able to get localised search results for other countries by changing the country domain on Google Search. Previously, if you searched for results on Google.fr, you would see local results from France. Google said in its blog post that this update is for making search results more local and relevant.
The changes will be reflected on Google’s webpage, Google app for iOS, desktop Search and Maps. Till now Google used country code top level domain names (ccTLD) to distinguish country services and offer localised search results. Instead of the country specific search results being indicated via domain, they will now be served based on your location.
Evelyn Kao, Product Manager at Google explains in the blog post, “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.” So, while travelling to a different location, your search results and services will dynamically change according to where you are, and then revert back once you return.
Google, however, allows for a workaround for those users who are unable to see their country specific services while browsing. Users can go into settings and select the country service they want to receive. Also, users can now see which country service they are currently using at the bottom of Google’s search results page.
Further, Google said that this update will change how Google Search And Maps services are labeled, but it will not affect how these apps work or change how the company handles obligations under national law. The company’s other services such as YouTube, Blogger, Google Earth and Gmail already work this way.