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Changing Google.com country domain no longer works

GeneralEdward KiledjianComment

Google power users knew that changing the Google country top-level domain (ccTLD) would allow you to find results optimized for another country or language (e.g. searching Google.ch instead of Google.com to get more swiss biased results). 

There are a tone of reasons why I used this little trick:

  • Accessing Google.com results when terminating a VPN in another country
  • Travelling to a European country that skews results (right to be forgotten) and wanting "real" information returned
  • and much more

In a blog post, Google announced that results will now be customized based on the user's location (without regard for the country ccTLD input in the URL). So if I am in France and try to access American results by using the Google.com site, I will still get french results.

Google explains that 1/5 searches are location dependent (therefore detecting and using the user's actual location makes sense).  If I am traveling to Paris and search for pâtisserie, the logic motivation is that I am searching for a pâtisserie in Paris, not Toronto (my home city). 

You can still search for results in another location but the process is much more complicated now (you can still go into settings and select the correct country service you want to receive.) 

It’s important to note that while this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labeled, it won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law.
— Google blog post

Source: Google Blog