I am in South Africa, and we have a regional google site at www.google.co.za.
I understand that going to the regional site gives me results that are weighted towards local sites. I know that I can also click on “pages from South Africa” to filter the results even further.
However, when I use the search box in FireFox (next to the address bar) it executes the search on www.google.com. The results still appear to be weighted towards local sites (e.g. a SA hotel appears high in the rankings for “hotel” globally, which is unlikely).
I have 2 questions:
Can anyone confirm that google.com gives some weighting to local results depending on the location of the user?
If the answer to 1 is “yes”, how could I ever see the way my sites are positioned and represented on google.com for users in locations other than South Africa?
Kinda what I’ve been asking in this thread No one seems to have an answer to that…
You could try doing a search on www.google.com/ncr - this stops Google redirecting you to your local site. However, that may not be enough - Google will always try to give you the most relevant results, and so it will try to give you local results if it can. To thwart its plans to help you, you should make sure you are not logged in to Google, and it may also help to delete any Google-related cookies. It will still know which country you are in, but you won’t have a history that it can look at. (You might want to use a different browser for this, so that it doesn’t interfere with your normal Google usage)
You may find that using a proxy server to hide where you are working from can help. Google suggests these: http://www.google.com/search?q=proxy+to+hide+country, but I can’t vouch for them - use at your own risk!