Heads Up - Google Either Moving OR Removing Search Location Setting

Linda Buquet

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GoogleChangeFORUMPOST.gif

Google is testing or tweaking or moving or deleting the option to set search location.
Obviously this feature/ability is critical to those of us in the industry.

There's a detailed post at our Local Search Pros Community and what people are seeing is all over the place. Some still see it, some don't, some see the option in a different location that is not that easy to find. (See red below.) Does not seem browser related, so I think it depends which data center you are hitting.

Aaron Watters kicked it off

I'm not sure if we're late to the party (fashionably late of course) but some of our browsers are missing the search area underneath Search Tools. It's a pretty big issue for us when we're tracking local results in Alaska (we're located in Texas).

I wrote a post about it, but I'm very interested in any tools y'all have found to get around this or if you've been seeing it too.
Here is Aaron's post: <a href="http://www.leadhub.net/2015/11/04/google-removes-search-area-from-search-tools/">Google Removes Search Area From Search Tools</a>

In the thread at the Pro community, folks are reporting seeing it, not seeing it, does not seem to correlate with which browser. So I think it depends which server you are hitting.

Myles from BrightLocal reported:

The view we're getting is mixed right now. We're still able to set a search location for our tools/reports but we've had some issues with this today and had to re-run more reports than usual to get location picked up. So it's sporadic and i'm guessing it's dependant on a few factors such as browser type, location & possibly if you're in/out of a test pool.

In my personal browsers this is what i'm seeing -

Chrome - no location options
FF - yes, location options
Safari - no location option

I suspect Google are testing and may roll this out which would be a big pain for everyone involved in local search!

========================

Some more info on this.

When i checked in Chrome this morning the 'Location' setting option is now displayed in the 'search settings' area, behind the cog icon, top right of google SERP.

It wasn't showing their yesterday but is today.
I still have it in the regular spot in both FF and Chrome.

Can YOU find it? Where is it for you and which browser are you using?
Logged in or out?
 

Scott Rawlins

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Hit & Miss:

Logged In - still seeing it in FF, but not Chrome
Logged Out - same thing

G just keeps making it harder on us.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Scott. But in Chrome do you see it in the new spot Myles mentioned?

Here's a screenshot of one of the places it's been found, from Aaron at Leadhub.


Screen-Shot-2015-11-05-at-8.59.45-AM.jpg
 

Tim Colling

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I still see it, in the usual place, here in Oceanside, California, on Chrome.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Tim!

Myles Anderson just said:

+Chad Russell I think that's wishful thinking and I suspect/fear that Google may be about to deprecate this function. That could be my natural pessimism talking or just 6 years of observing Google tinkering and the pattern of how they deploy such changes.

Time will tell!

Sure hope he's wrong but I share some of his pessimism.
This follows patterns I've seen in the past, before the fat lady sang. :eek:
 

Linda Buquet

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Weird Scott.

I still have it in the old normal place. But ALSO when I go to the gear icon and advanced search settings, I have the location link where you can set it as well. So I have both.

Check out Cody's latest reply. :mad:
 

hollypowell

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Using FF both logged in and logged out:
I don't see location behind the gear / search settings. I have a big giant pit in the bottom of my stomach right now.

Using Chrome both logged in and logged out:
I see search tools and can set location without having to click on the gear.
Logged in search settings doesn't give me the option to set location. The gear search settings doesn't give me the option to set location.

Repeat - big giant pit in the bottom of my stomach. :eek::confused:
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Holly! :(

Someone needs to reg the name localproxyland.com and start a new service. ;)
 

Gerry.Foster

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still seeing it in the normal area of Chrome, on windows. Omaha, Nebraska.

I havent seen any changes to it at all.

I don't use other browsers. Is that sad?
 

Tim Colling

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Ok, here's an update.

When I got into my office (in San Marcos, CA) and started my laptop, without restarting Chrome, everything looked like it used to.

After I exited Chrome and restarted it and re-logged into my Google account, the old-style Search Tools location tool was still there and also the "location" option under the "Search Settings" was there.

However, when I went to an incognito window, the Search Tools location tool was no longer there. Then, I opened a different incognito window, and the Search Tools location tool WAS there.

Pretty random, at least for me right now. It would make sense for Linda B and I to have the same experience, since we're both in the same city.
 

Linda Buquet

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It just occurred to me...

They do everything for the users and if an option does not get used by the masses, they often send it to the graveyard.

But I don't think only consultants like us use that feature. And I don't think they'd change it just to thwart our efforts.

Wouldn't you think savvy surfers use it too? If they are planning a trip to Dallas and wanted to check out the best restaurants, don't you think they'd know to change location?

Especially if you just search KW only. It will only show results in your area.

But I wonder if the majority would just add city and search for "Dallas restaurants" and never use the location setting. I bet the majority of average surfers don't even know that feature is there.
 

Eric Rohrback

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personally I don't think most people know about changing browser location settings to get different results. Even other agency owners I've talked to didn't know about that feature. I wouldn't be surprised if it was only a small population sample that was actually using it.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes I think it's been in settings, I just never need to go there because it was always right on the page.

I still have the setting in both locations.

FYI I just found this help doc: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/179386?p=ws_settings_location&hl=en&rd=1

It does not mention ANY of the locations settings we are talking about.
Here is the only option it gives for searching from a different area.

See results near a different location

To see results near a certain location, add the name of the location to your search. For example, search pizza naples to find pizza restaurants near Naples.
I'm afraid that might be where we are heading... the writing is on the wall???
(Question marks, because still not sure and don't want to believe.)
 

cjonesmn

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Okay... I already add the city or location when I'm doing ranking research for a search term related to a business location, especially when I work with businesses with locations in different cities or towns. I feel that turning off the location option helps reduce the impact of personalized search results.

Maybe the SEO-side my expertise is creeping into the equation :) but I personally don't see any added work if they remove the location option altogether.

Yes I think it's been in settings, I just never need to go there because it was always right on the page.

I still have the setting in both locations.

FYI I just found this help doc: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/179386?p=ws_settings_location&hl=en&rd=1

It does not mention ANY of the locations settings we are talking about.
Here is the only option it gives for searching from a different area.



I'm afraid that might be where we are heading... the writing is on the wall???
(Question marks, because still not sure and don't want to believe.)
 

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