Dude, Where’s My Location? Google Removes Location Search Ability

December 9th, 2015 by Sarah Jane Lowery

News Impacting Your SEO Graphic Image

While most people were recovering from Thanksgiving food comas on December 1st, Google was quietly removing the ability to change the location of your search. For those of you who don’t fondly remember, there used to be an option in the search tools that allowed you to pretend you were in a far off land searching, places like Saginaw and Cleveland.

Google Missing Location Search Image

What This Means for Online Marketing

The impact of this change is now starting to really be felt for those of us in the online marketing world.

Advanced Web Ranking, a popular keyword tracking software, had to make a quick fix for their product. Before this change, tracking keywords anywhere your clients was as simple selecting a location in the software. Just like that, you were seeing the results for “french fries” right along with everyone else located in Newark.

Then, BOOM. Google changed that.

According to Google support, the solution to this problem is now to add the city to see results for that city.

Google Drops Location Search, Screenshot Image

My example of “french fries” while searching in Newark has now become “french fries Newark” while in New Orleans.

Changing Keyword Searches

If you spend time looking at search volume, you might be aware that there is a difference between any two keywords, no matter how similar they may seem. Everyone is different, and I might search “french fries Newark,” you might search “Newark french fries,” and my neighbor might search “french fries in Newark.”

Since AWR updated their software to fit the new location definition, they are unfortunately changing what is actually being tracked. If you read the comments on their release of the news, users are not happy with the change. AWR needs kudos for their quick response to a large change in online marketing, even though it did not adequately address the change.

As AWR’s change magnifies, Google has drastically changed online marketers’ ability to peer into markets of their clients from afar. It really brings home the point that online marketing and SEO is are ever-changing industries, and you have to always on your toes, even over the holidays.

Image Credit:

Tom Hanks