Last week, Google without explanation removed the ability for users to change their locations within search results. Rather, the search giant opted for a real-time geolocation setting that initially looked like it couldn’t be changed…at least until recently. Good news for the marketing world: A workaround has been discovered.
So now that this important feature isn’t available, it’s important to use an alternative – that is at least, until an extension becomes available in Google Chrome. Step-by-step, follow these directions. For this example, we’ll be attempting to change our location to Dallas, Texas.
Step 1: Using the Chrome web browser, search for your result (Note: We’ve yet to try similar steps on other browsers). Right click the result and select “Inspect.” Chrome Developer Tools will then appear.
Step 2: From Chrome Developer Tools, select the dropdown left of the X (It appears as 3 vertical dots). From there, select “Show console” (If this doesn’t already appear by default).
Step 3: Look towards the bottom and find the “Emulation tab.” Check “Emulate geolocation coordinates.” Remove any existing values.
Step 4: Using Google Maps, search for whatever location you wish to emulate in search. The result will bring up a new URL in the address bar. From there, you’ll want to copy the latitude and longitude coordinates from the address bar and paste them into the fields located under the “Emulation” tab.
Step 5: Click the “refresh” button at the top of the browser. Scroll down all the way until you reach the bottom of the search results. Select “Update location.”
Congrats, you’re ready to search in a different geographic location! You’ll see that it now lists your new location as Dallas, Texas:
Why Changing Locations Is So Important for Marketers…
As marketers, we often work with clients who are either located in other geographic regions, or have multiple locations across the U.S. and/or the world. Google search presents different results dependent upon the location you’re searching from. For example, if you’re in Iowa looking to get an oil change, chances are you don’t want to see a result for an oil change shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Being able to set to the search engine location to a geographic location we’re not currently in provides pivotal insights into not just what’s ranking well locally, but also what search terms are being used most through Google’s autocomplete function.