Heads Up - Google Either Moving OR Removing Search Location Setting

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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14,440
Thanks Mark, really appreciate it.

We've been talking about this at the Pro Community too and some are saying that you can just use KW near City to simulate.

But from my recollection KW only, vs KW in, vs KW near, vs KW city usually returned different results - often radically different.

In fact we've had complaints from businesses here saying "I rank for KW near but not KW only" or vice versa.


Scratch that. See next post.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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Sorry sick and in so much pain can't even think straight. Should not even be trying to post. I misunderstood that Pro community convo.

It was Darren from Whitespark and he explained:

"+Linda Buquet if you're comparing "dentist" vs "dentist in chicago" vs "dentist near chicago", then yes, I'd expect there to be a difference between the results.

I'm not talking about that. 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.

OK I'm over and out for the night.
 
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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.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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14,440
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.
 

paulg

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Mar 20, 2015
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myPresences also allows you to specify a search location when setting up keywords .. we modify the search term using the near url parameter discussed above.
mypresences-screenshot-new-search-term.jpg

 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Eric, I was just coming to post the same thing.

It's a official, it was removed, not a test. And it's for the reason I've been saying.

Barry said: "Update: A Google spokesperson told us this feature was intentionally removed last week. Google said, "it was getting very little usage, so we're focusing on other features."
 

DanielM

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Dec 2, 2015
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You may have already figured this out, but that screenshot is not a new area they moved "location" to. It has been there for quite some time. I have used it for the past 2 years. It is no longer on my Chrome browser nor is it underneath the search bar settings. I guess I will need to start using location-based proxies and put more of a strain on Google's servers :)

I was using the Location function everyday to check keywords manually for clients because i noticed inconsistencies in the keyword tracking tool we were using AgencyAnalytics (Formally MySEOTool).

This makes it tough on SEO's for sure. One thing I noticed that maybe a few of you can look into is that Google Search Console as you know shows keywords clients are ranked for. I was never sure if location was tied to the keywords. I checked before the "Location" function was removed. For example, my client ranks #1 for "pool service johns creek ga", Google also shows him as #1 in Search console. When I reviewed over 50 #1 keyword rankings, they weren't the same in search console due to my location when searching manually. I changed my location to Johns Creek, GA and then compared the keywords in search console. Keyword rankings all matched even without the goe modifier. when I searched "pool maintenance" using Johns Creek, GA location, my client was in the same position that Google Search Console reported. Has anyone looked into this? Does Google report local search terms based on the client's location?
 

Margaret Ornsby

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Jul 22, 2013
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497
Wait, we're going a little off topic here, but this last paragraph has my head spinning.

Are you saying you're seeing a result in SC and then trying to confirm it manually? If that's the case, you're right, I wouldn't expect it to match 100%. It's not a data problem. Google tailors search results based on a whole lot of factors, including your location.

As well, the numbers for position in SC are averages of the topmost result from your site. That means for a given search term, in one area page A might display high & in another area page B might display high. The position is the average of how high those two pages displayed for that search term.

Have a careful read of this page -.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6155685
pay particular attention to the section Choosing which metrics to display, and Aggregating data by site vs by page

So in answer to your question does G report local search terms based on the client's location - I believe the answer is no.

IMHO comparing SC search terms to ranking is dangerous. Think instead of traffic and conversion. I'd rather show in position 5 (search results, not SC) with a 30% conversion rate, than show at position 1 with .5% conversion rate.
 

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
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Jul 22, 2013
Messages
497
Just discovered another tool (from another community) that's much easier than some of the location solutions posted.

isearchfrom.com

Apparently this is the closest thing to the old search location feature.

Mods: If this resource has been mentioned previously my apologies and pls feel free to delete this comment.
 

rossicone

Member
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Jul 24, 2012
Messages
86
Thanks Margaret! What a great/easy to use tool:)

I just wanted to confirm that we cannot use this tool when looking for desktop results, right?

Thanks!
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,440
Thanks so much Margaret!

Vick mentioned it above and it's mentioned a couple times in the main solutions thread here:
<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/38549-9-tools-hacks-emulate-google-search-location-since-setting-gone.html">9 Tools & Hacks to Emulate Google Search Location - Since that Setting is Gone</a>

But never hurts to mention again, because there are so many posts on the topic it's easy to miss and that's one of the tools people seem to like the most.
 

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
497
Hi Rachel

I believe if you're using the tool from a desktop and you leave the device setting as current, you're doing the search as a desktop.

HTH


@Linda - part of what I love about this forum. Everything you ever wanted to know and more is in here . Incredibly smart community. Sorry about the repeat but glad it could be of help.
 

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