You need to be aware of your search engine rating in their area to make sure you’re hitting the goals of SEO Services that you are performing for your client websites or the SEO that you are doing for your own website. These techniques will help you see what others see.


Google applies a complex calculation to every query entered into the search engine to determine exactly what the user is searching for.

This prediction algorithm takes into account several different variables, but one of the most crucial ones is the searcher’s location. If you are providing SEO Services for any website, this is something that you should understand by heart. Google has made it very obvious how important local search is to them.

And that’s fantastic if you’re a local mom-and-pop business servicing a constrained region.

What transpires, however, if you have many locations? or if you do business on a national or even global level? Can you still rank as highly as nearby rivals in the search results?

Continue reading for solutions to these and other questions.

Why Do Location-Based Search Results Differ?

When you consider it, it becomes very clear why Google takes geography into account when determining rankings: Local often equates to more critical.

If you’re craving a mocha latte, for instance, a Google search that leads you to a coffee shop on the other side of the nation isn’t very helpful; even a result from the other side of town isn’t as beneficial as one that’s just around the corner.

The location estimation features of Google are quite precise; they use information from several sources. According to what is available, it takes into account:

  • Where your device is (via Wi-Fi location, cell phone triangulation, or GPS, which can pinpoint your location to around 20 meters).
  • Your designated areas (i.e., the names that show up next to markers on Google Maps).
  • The residential address associated with your Google account.
  • Prior use of several Google products.

You IP address.

Together, they enable Google to pinpoint your location and the items that are accessible to you locally. And as a consequence, you can see different search results from someone who lives down the street from you for the same exact question.

You can start to see why ranking locally is so important when you realize that 25% of people click on the very first search result and the great majority never go beyond the first page.

Your local search engine optimization has to be strong to do this, especially if your firm relies on foot traffic.

But how can you know whether yours is effective? Although it would take time, you could get in your vehicle and drive around town (or the nation) doing searches in different places to verify your rating.

Fortunately, Google allows you to check your ranking from the convenience of your workplace. This is how you do it:

Search With A Local Parameter

Google offers a convenient method to look at the local map pack in certain places. Simply enter your search terms into Google’s search box, followed by the phrase “&near=cityname” at the end of the URL.

Let’s say you work in SEO for a coffee business with locations all across the Pacific Northwest, but you are based in Kansas City. Let’s name this hypothetical enterprise “Jitters.”

You go to Google and search [coffee shops near me] because you want to see how Jitters compares to the rivals in Seattle.

On the results page that appears, add “&near=Seattle” at the end of the lengthy URL.

You’ve just conducted a local search from 1,800 miles away—just hit enter.

Reset your regional preferences

If you want a more comprehensive view of the search results for a certain place, you may manually alter your regional settings.

Instead of showing you search results based on your IP address or other sources, this shows you results at the nation level.

To do this, go to Google.com’s bottom right corner, click Settings, and then choose Search Settings. You’ll be sent to the Search Settings page as a result (obviously).

You’ll find a list of region settings if you scroll all the way to the bottom.

Select the area you wish to search in and save your preferences. Now you’ll get search results for the nation you selected.

Let’s assume Jitters just built a store in Lisbon to continue with our hypothetical coffee shop scenario. By choosing “Portugal” as your area, you may see the new Portuguese beanery’s ranks.

It should be noted that results will continue to be based on your present location if the local option stated before is not included to the search URL.

Using Google Maps, manage your home and workplace locations

The ability of Google’s local search to use machine learning is one of its best features.

It automatically recognizes locations you often visit, such as your house and workplace. Additionally, it may save you a ton of time and provide you more relevant search results since it is aware of your commute patterns.

Of course, it isn’t flawless. It occasionally is unaware that you departed the cracker plant employment months ago. However, choosing your home and work locations is simple.

Open Google Maps, choose Locations from the drop-down menu under Your Places. Enter the address after selecting Work or Home. You’re finished after you click Save.

By using the modifiers [near home] or [near work] in your query, you may now do local searches from either location.

In the Activity Controls of your Google Account, delete location history.

Even when you aren’t actively using a particular search engine product, Google records your location, which some people find a bit Big Brother-like.

It accomplishes this because your location history gives it more accurate information.

For instance, if it discovers that you often visit a martial arts center, it will probably answer to your inquiries about boxing with websites dedicated to pugilism rather than blogs about cardboard boxes.

This has numerous benefits, but it might make it more difficult to compare search results from several places.

Google said that users’ location histories will be deleted after 18 months starting in 2020, but if you couldn’t wait that long, you can easily remove your information or turn the service off.

You may turn it on and off by going to the “Location History” area of your Google account.

Now, do it from this page if you wish to utilize location history on one device but not another. You may manually remove part or all of your location history from Google Maps or your browser.

Here, you should be informed that deleting this information may result in the loss of certain tailored data, including traffic updates, traffic suggestions, and automatically created Google Photo albums.

Using the Google Chrome Developer Tools, change your location

In the Chrome browser’s developer tools, you may override your location to verify search engine results if you’re more tech-savvy.

Open DevTools first, then a command prompt, to do this. Enter after selecting Show Sensors.

Select “Custom Location” or one of the pre-selected cities from the “Geolocations” list. If you choose the latter, you may locate yourself precisely by entering longitude and latitude coordinates.

To observe how your website functions when a user’s location is unknown, you may also choose “Location Unavailable.”

On your device, modify the location settings

On certain mobile devices, the Settings page allows users to modify their location. Others call on you to be a bit more witty.

Using a GPS-changing app is the simplest approach to examine search results from a different location.

Many of these are accessible on Google Play and the App Store. Most allow you to do searches from the place of your choosing by employing a network operator to modify your GPS position.

Use the Google Ads Preview and Diagnosis Tool to test things out.

Did you know that Google’s Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool can also be used to examine Google searches from various locations? It’s a terrific method to evaluate how your paid advertising look in local searches.

Select Location from the dropdown menu after starting the tool. Now go to the place you want. Depending on your preferences, you may filter your view by nation, city, or zip code to receive a broad or detailed picture.

To see whether your performance is the same on mobile as it is on a desktop, you may also switch the kind of device you’re using.

Valentin.app’s Local Search Results

With no extra equipment or data sources required, Valentin.app is a free web application that enables you to monitor search engine rankings from a specific area.

It is quite simple to use. Enter your keywords, area, and language choices, followed by an address.

After that, Google will get your address input and transform it to a geolocation (along with your other inputs).

The Google localized search engine results page is then shown by Valentin.app in a new tab.

Change Your Location With A VPN

Changing the location setting on your smartphone is another option to take location information out of the search equation.

A virtual private network is one of the most popular and straightforward methods to do this (VPN).

VPNs conceal your IP address by routing it via secure servers located in other countries, a tactic long utilized by pirates (the virtual sort, not the swashbuckling ones). (Note: Don’t contact Search Engine Journal if you need bail money; we in no way support stealing intellectual property or breaching the law in any other manner.)

Of course, VPNs have real applications, such as safeguarding your data, protecting you from hackers, and getting around those awful YouTube filters that prevent access to certain films in your country. Additionally, they’re a great method to acquire search results from a different area.

This has the disadvantage that most VPNs only provide a small selection of IP addresses. Therefore, you may not be able to find out precisely where your coffee business stands in searches conducted in Vancouver.