Google recently made a notable change to local search to give users more relevant results.
Google has added a “change location” link to the left panel on its search results pages, providing an accurate location setting so users can find more local businesses in their area.
This feature has been launched across the globe in 40 different languages and will be available to all Google users world wide very soon.
Google made the announcement on its blog, with the following statement:
Today we’re moving your location setting to the left-hand panel of the results page to make it easier for you to see and control your preferences. With this new display you’re still getting the same locally relevant results as before, but now it’s much easier for you to see your location setting and make changes to it.
For example, if you are about to travel to Sydney and you want to find the closest pizza restaurant to your hotel, simply type in the city or zip code and Google will adjust the search results based on that location. However, just in case Google fails to locate you correctly you can make changes in the settings on the left hand side of the search page.
There have been no changes to the back-end of location-based search, but Google has obviously noticed the widespread use of GPS mobile searches and the consequent role of location on local search results. This is likely the reason behind moving this feature out from its hiding place in “view customizations” to make it a prominent eye catcher on the front page of the search result page.
While this is only a minor change, the move of former VP of search, Marissa Mayer, to manager of Google’s geo/local products shows that Google thinks local search will be a major growth area.
Do you think this latest change will get more Google searchers to utilize location in their searches? Feel free to share your thoughts below.