How You Can See Google Search Results for Different Locations
It’s likely that what you and I see when we make the same query or search for the same phrase on Google is different. The results that Google and other search engines display depend on a number of things including:
- The devices we use
- Search habits
- Your current location
While the search results Google displays can make perfect sense to users searching services and places nearby, for marketers, they are left blind to what audiences really see when they search on Google from different locations they target. There are various ways you can localize your search on Google, both manually and automatically.
But before looking at the ways you can see different results from different places, let’s look at whether all SERP elements are based on locations.
Do all SERP elements rely on location?
If you are wondering whether all SERP elements rely on location, the answer is yes! Often, people think that local search is only related to Google’s local 3-pack blocks. However, the truth is that the other parts of SERPs are also customized for the specific geo-location of the searchers, especially for queries that have local intent.
Here is a list of good maps….
Looking at the results from different locations, you may see different organic listings, universal search blocks, knowledge panels, and paid ads. What business owners and marketers need to realize is that you cannot ignore the changes in the results you are likely to see from different locations. Whatever research you do, whether you track search presence, analyze competition, or look at the appropriate directory placement, you want to consider some level of SERP localization. That being said, although local 3-pack results tend to be hypersensitive to any slight change in location, organic search results tend to be more stable.
Checking country-specific SERPs
If you are an international brand and you target multiple countries, you may want to track and monitor the search presence at country level. It will help you analyze search performance based on non-geo-sensitive queries. Often, the search terms display the same results for countrywide searches.
If you want to manually check country-specific SERPs, you can change the settings for Google search. Tell Google that the country it automatically detects is not your country. So go to search settings where you can adjust the region for which you want Google to display search results. You may even use a proxy or VPN where you can fake your location. This way, Google will show results for that faked location.
If you want to automatically check for country-specific SERPs, there are tools that you can use. Although there may be no single rank tracking application that cannot automate localization of search, the way they work may differ. Some emulate a real user to tweak the settings for Google search while others use a set of IPs for a specific country. The good thing is that, regardless of the way they work, these tools do a good job.
Checking city-specific SERPs
If you are monitoring a local business, you will be interested in city-level rankings. A business with a physical location where its customers visit or one that operates in a specific area will need this kind of monitoring. In most cases, when people are seeking these kinds of businesses, they use geo-sensitive queries. For example, a customer may search the keyword “pizza restaurants in Los Angeles.”
So, the search results will change a lot in different city organic results. Also, tracking city-level ranking might not be a good option for monitoring local listings; you can use it in tracking an organic position that may not fluctuate so much within a particular city. You can also use it to track local packs as well as map rankings among the less competitive industries.
To manually check for city-specific SERPs, you can add the ‘&near=cityname’ parameter within the Google URL. For instance, if you want to check the SERPs for “locksmith” from Los Angeles, CA, you may use a URL like:
https://www.google.com/search?q=locksmiths&near= Los Angeles,+ca
Although this method is easier, you may not be able to put every parameter in the URL.
You can also use Google’s Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool, which is pretty accurate. This tool helps you check localized SERPs. The tool not only simulates geo-positions but also the user devices like desktop, mobile, and tablet.
To automatically check city-specific SERPs, you can use a vast majority of tools used for rank tracking. Most of these tools utilize the same method of localizing your search results. Some of these tools are AccuRanker, BrightLocal, and Ahrefs. You may also use SEMrush and Whitespark, but these feature a limited set of countries and cities.
Checking SERPs for a particular street address
If you want to track local pack or results from Google Maps, any slight change in location can greatly influence the results. At times, you find that your business shows up in Google search results within a whole service area but other times it only ranks for searches donea few meters from your doorsteps. A city-level tracking may not help in this situation, so you can localize the search at a street level.
Street-level tracking of your search results helps show how your business is visible in different areas of the town or city. It also helps determine how far from the location of your business you appear in Google’s local pack.
To manually check for street-specific SERPs, you want to consider setting up custom latitude as well as longitude in a browser like Chrome. This browser allows you to lead pages like you are in a specific area by providing the exact geo-coordinates. Just go to the Developer Tools by tapping CTRL+SHFT+I for Windows or Command + Option + I for Mac OS. While there, tap the three-dot icon on the bottom left corner. Now, select the Sensors options and then paste the geo-coordinates. You can get the geo-coordinates from Google Maps.
You may also use other apps such as the Valentin app that helps convert street addresses into geo-coordinates before passing them to Google.
To automatically check for street-specific SERPs, you may use tools such as Tank Tracker and Local Falcon. Although these tools all allow you to automate the process of checking street address rank, they work differently.
Conclusion Diagnosing your local search performance enables you to find ways to improve your ranking. If your business is underperforming in particular regions, you may want to monitor your search performance – whether at the street level, city level, or country level.