Today we’re going to look at 3 simple ways to see the varying Google search results from different locations.
When you’re doing Keyword Research, don’t forget that both your browser history and your location influence the results that you see.
Avoiding the issues of personalised results is relatively simple:
Use a different browser to the one you use on a daily basis so there’s no search history, and switch to a privacy setting. That would be incognito mode in Chrome (Ctrl+Shift+N), private browsing in Firefox (Ctrl+Shift+P) or whatever it is you do on that browser when you go to one of those sites you don’t want showing up in your history…
But what about location? The results can vary greatly depending upon the country, city and even street where the user is located. It’s clearly not practical to physically travel to the place, so what do you do?
One way to do it is to get a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN masks your IP address making it very hard for “them” to know what you’re up to online. IP addresses are a bit like phone numbers, in that every country has its own identifying prefix. The UK for example is 192. With a VPN you can switch between different IPs, thus tricking your browser into thinking you’re in different locations.
This method works, but what if you don’t want to go to the expense of setting up a VPN?
The good news is that there are simpler (and free) methods to see google search results from different locations!
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to see Google Search results from different locations without a VPN
- View Results by Country via the Search Settings
Once in incognito/private browsing mode, go to the google search page and hit “Settings” then “Search Settings”.
Scroll to the bottom of the settings page and you’ll find the option to choose country. Simple! Does it give as accurate results as using a VPN? Hard to say, but it’s certainly better than your standard results.
You can also find the setting to change language here – important if you have a multilingual website, though also worth checking the results for your English keywords with different browser language settings!
- Use “City Name” in the Search Query
When using this technique, it’s best to make sure you’ve tricked your browser into thinking you’re in the relevant country first, to get the most accurate results. For example, switch your country to France, then search for “Best Croissants in Paris” “Croissants near Paris” etc.
- Use the Google Ads Keyword Planner
This is a slightly different technique, not good for competitor research, but invaluable when it comes to finding and selecting keywords.
If you don’t already have one, create a free google ads account. Don’t worry, there’s no need to spend anything to use this service.
Once set up, click the spanner icon at the top right, then Keyword Planner. On the next screen you’ll see the options to change location and language. You can pick countries or cities. Though you won’t see what websites come up in the results, the tool does tell you how many monthly searches there are for a term, and how high the competition is.
So there we have it, 3 different ways to see local search results for different locations. No VPN or teleporter required!
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