Local search results will no longer be determined by the country-specific browser being used by a user. A new update by Google has done away with domain dependency and transitions towards picking the user location as the main factor for serving local search results.
This means that logging into Google.com.my from a given country will lead to search results pertaining to that country.
Google will no longer rely on top-level domains as a trigger for determining the location of the user. Country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, desktop search, and Google Maps will now correspond to the location of the user's device.
The change only impacts users so advertisers need not worry about any changes to PPC and SEM campaigns in progress.
According to a blog post, 20% of searches on Google are related to the location according to Evelyn Kao, the product manager at Google. "So providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information," she adds.
Similar to settings for Google products such as Google Earth, Gmail, and YouTube, users can change the location manually if they choose to.
"While this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labeled, it won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law," Kao writes.
The update is meant to rely on a user opting to keep their location tracker on in order to find the most relevant search results, which ties into Google's dependency on mobile search as evidenced at the quarter three earnings call.
A version of this story was first published by Campaign Asia-Pacific