Last week Google made another update to the way their search engine works with searches no longer indicated by the domain but rather search results will be served the country service that corresponds to your location. Typing the preferred ccTLD into a search will no longer bring you to the various country services. It’s a change that could make ccTLD domain names less relevant for marketers and businesses.
The change impacts searches on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS and desktop Search and Maps and was announced in a post on the Google Blog, which, observant readers might notices uses the Google new gTLD (generic top level domain) .google.
Google gives the example that “if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.”
The change has come about as “around one in five searches on Google is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information.”
“In order to provide this optimal experience, your location determines the country service you receive results for across Google Search and Maps. Historically, these services have been labelled and accessed via country code top level domain names (ccTLDs) such as [google.ng for Nigeria] or [google.com.br for Brazil]. You may also have typed in the relevant ccTLD in your browser.”
If for some reason you don’t see the right country when you’re browsing, you can still go into settings and select the correct country service you want to receive. Typing the relevant ccTLD in your browser will no longer bring you to the various country services—this preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using.