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  1. #1
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    Exclamation 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    In case you missed the news, Google removed Search Location settings yesterday. For the past couple months that setting has come and gone and moved around so we assumed they were either testing or a big change was rolling out. Yesterday it happened worldwide from what I'm reading.

    So if you are a consultant in Dallas, how do you accurately check rankings for "Dentist" (without geo-modifier) for a client in New York? All you can do now is search for Dentist, which will show you Dentists in Dallas, not New York.

    FYI there is much speculation about this. Some suggesting that Google did it to hide info from SEOs like they do with KW not provided. I don't think that at all. I really think this is practicality and not designed to block SEOs from info. 99.9% of the world are NOT SEOs or involved in local search. Regular people search for local services in their area. And Google has gotten really good at knowing where you are located. So I think that feature was used so little, Google decided it was no longer needed. But I know it's frustrating.
    I used that feature 20 times a day!

    HERE are some SOLUTIONS/TOOLS/HACKS that will help you search other locations to simulate the search results that show in that area.


    The 1st one is a simple query hack.

    It comes via Darren Shaw from Whitespark at the Local Search Pros G+ Community.


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    I misunderstood and thought Darren was changing query to add "near city".
    But he’s appending that to the URL string, as I illustrated above.

    Darren said: "I'm talking about just searching "dentist" and then MODIFYING THE URL to add this parameter to it: &near=CITYNAME. For example:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dentist

    modified:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dentist&near=chicago

    By adding the near parameter, you are doing the same thing as the old function to set the location."
    Thanks for explaining Darren! That totally makes sense and works.


    The rest of the suggestions come from the forum thread where we've been discussing this for the past month, since Google started playing with the dials.

    Google Either Moving OR Removing Search Location Setting

    Mark from Places Scout (KabanaSoft) was the 1st to alert me yesterday. Then he posted that they were able to craft a work around for Scout.

    Quote Originally Posted by KabanaSoft View Post
    As Linda noted, we observed that the ability to change the Google location setting using the Search Tools menu option in the SERPs was removed around 10:30AM PST today.

    However, after several hours of investigation, debugging, and testing, we have devised a suitable workaround in Places Scout that will allow you to change the Google Location setting when running ranking and/or lead gen reports in Places Scout - we were able to get the desired location setting to display at the very bottom of the SERP page where Google is now reporting your current location for any specified location.

    With this new method in place you can still check rankings for keywords that don't have the geo-modifier in the keyword and change the location setting to any desired location (works for international locations as well).

    If anyone wants to give it a try you can signup for a free trial here: https://web.placesscout.com/account/registerand let us know your thoughts after running some reports and reviewing the results.

    FYI Darren from WhiteSpark and Myles from BrightLocal both said their rank trackers are working now too.


    More solutions from the forum thread above...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott ClientClicks View Post
    I found another workaround that lets you set the location in Firefox using a browser extension called Location Guard.

    Location Guard is designed as a privacy tool, but it also has an option to set a fixed location. Once you pick your location on a map, you can update your search location by clicking on the use precise location/update location link at the bottom of a google serp.

    Quote Originally Posted by stankolev View Post
    Other one is Geolocater ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/fir...on/geolocater/ ), the difference is that in Geolocater you can make profiles and when share location, to select from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vick View Post
    I have used this:

    http://isearchfrom.com/ (Custom location, language, device & personalization Google Search tool to preview ads & results)

    Also gives the option to choose devices. A lot quicker than using G-operators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Thanks for all the tools suggestions to get around this problem guys.

    Vick it appears that tool is simulating the Google Ad Preview tool, which I meant to re-test and mention last night. I assume it still works like before which was really good for location emulation. Didn't get around to testing but assume it still works.
    Mike also posted about this yesterday and a rather complicated solution was mentioned there by Chris Koszo for using Chrome developer tools in Emulation mode: Google Removes the Location Setting?


    So there you have it! Pros to the rescue with 9 tools/hacks to emulate location.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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  3. #2
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    To add to that - this is one I've used in Chrome - requires the Lat/Long but can work.

    1. Enter your search in Google per usual
    2. From the SERP hit Ctrl+Shift+I (this opens Developer Tools)
    3. Make sure you have the "Console" tab visible (if not select the “Console” tab)
    4. Select the Emulation tab
    5. Select "Sensors" from the choices on the left
    6. Check the box next to "Emulate geolocation coordinates" and enter your coordinates
    7. Refresh the SERP page, re-enter your search, or search for other keywords
    -----
    CDK Global SEO Specialist & Local Listings Guru

  4. #3
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    Assuming you have Maps set up.

    A simpler way is just to put near home or near work after the search phrase.

  5. #4
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    Here is a little tool to try - Set your Location for Google Search

    Might not work outside UK without changing the Google version

  6. #5
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    Hi Linda ... myPresences also works and allows you to specify the location for search terms which defaults to the location of the business being monitored. The default search engine can also be overridden.
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    Paul Gordon - Founder @ mypresences.com - Online presence & Reputation management

    Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Linkedin

  7. #6
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    Google Drops Change Location Search Filter From Search Results

    According to Search Engine Land:

    Google has quietly dropped the ability to filter your search results by changing your location. In the past, you would be able to click on the “Search Tools” option and set a location. This would give you search results as if you were in that location.
    read all article - Google Drops Change Location Search Filter From Search Results

    The solution to still be able to check rankings on different locations is to use Local IPs from the location you need to check the Google Rankings
    GeoRanker - Local SEO Analysis Platform. Got any question? #AskSergiuD - by Twitter

  8. #7
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    Re: Google Drops Change Location Search Filter From Search Results

    Thanks Paul!

    Thanks Serg. We already had 2 other threads going about this so I merged your post into the most recent one.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  9. #8
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    Thanks Linda!

    What is also important for the Local Search community to know is that only by manipulating location filters or Google URL they will not get the same results as a local user.

    In order to see 100% the same results they shall use Local IPs or remote machines, otherwise the results can be even 70% different than what a local user is seeing.
    GeoRanker - Local SEO Analysis Platform. Got any question? #AskSergiuD - by Twitter

  10. #9
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    Thanks for all these tips, we were a little stumped in the office at what to do next.

  11. #10
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    Re: 9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone

    When I try searches like these:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=dent...sonville%2C+nc
    https://www.google.com/search?q=dentists&near=28081

    the results aren't showing for those areas, but are getting skewed towards the largest city, showing results partway between there and the requested search area (Asheville in the first case, Charlotte in the second example).
    Rich Owings
    Local Is Where It's At | Asheville, NC SEO

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