How important is user location for search results?
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Different Google Results In Different Locations

Different Google Results In Different Locations - answered by Matt Cutts


Google uses user’s location to return more relevant results and it also can use your data about previous searches if you are logged in. If you clear your cookies and are not logged in the single information that can be used could be your IP so search results may not be such personalized.


Matt's answer:

Well, let’s talk about when you are logged in, because that’s a much easier case to talk about. If we know where you are located, whether you’re using a mobile phone, or whether you’re using a web browser, we can return you better results. If you type in pizza, or yoga instructor, or plumber, you’d much rather see the ones that are close by than something that’s located in San Francisco if you are in New York, or vice versa.


We absolutely do try to use your location

Even down to the city level, to try to say: ‘Oh, this person is in this city. Let’s try to show them relevant, useful, results from nearby. Previous searches, in the same way, we’ve been very clear; if you sign in, we try to personalize your search results. And that can be very helpful because if you know that ATM is a networking protocol in addition to, you know, a cash machine, maybe you are more interested in the Asynchronous Transmission Protocol sort of stuff.


The more information you give to Google the better results it can give to you

Now, if you want to clear your cookies, you are more than welcome to. And in that case, you know, we don’t know anything about you. Maybe your IP address can tell us a little where we are guessing your country, and those sorts of things. But most people, the vast majority of people, seem to say and be OK with the idea that, OK, if I’m willing to tell Google a little bit of information, the quality of the search results can be better for me.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: