Google Ignores Country Domains, Search Now Based on Your Location


Google Country DomainsUntil now, Google has allowed anyone to change the country domain in its search results. If you wanted to search for something in another country, you could easily the change the country domain to search Google in any country. If you wanted to look something up in the United Kingdom, you'd change the domain to If you were searching for something in Japan, you would just type in
Changing country domains is useful if you are traveling or you live or work abroad or if you're looking for something in another country, such as a map, news, or product.

Google will start returning search results based on your automatically detected location. This could cause some issues if you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that routes traffic through various countries or for mobile devices if you travel or own a phone from another country. The new changes apply across the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps.

Luckily, you can still manually change to a country domain using the Settings on the Google Search page.
Settings are located at the bottom of Google Search page. Clicking on the Settings link takes you to a page where you can change the amount of search results per page, change whether search results open in a new window, and change the search settings to your preferred region.

(via Google blog)

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Or you can add in your search URL '&gl=countryCode' (e.g. &gl=en for searching, or &gl=fr. etc.)

Thanks for the tip!

What happens if you use Startpage (which uses Google searches but hides your location from Google)?

I don't think there's a setting in Startpage to change the country domain you want to use to search. In Ducduckgo, you can go to the settings and choose a country.

Found it - there are settings in Startpage (under Advanced) where you can choose country and other things.

Excellent! My settings are StartPage Search, not Advanced. Thanks for finding that. :)

I use DuckDuckGo for most of my searches. I don't know if Google has gotten around that or not, and I use Chrome on a limited basis, being a Firefox fangirl for.........umm.....since it was in Alpha. :)


You can still control this setting manually if you use DuckDuckGo as your home page.
The added bonus is they don't track you (so they say?) but I think Google may have
adjusted to get around that in their updated Chrome versions anyway