Google's Geo Location Matching Outside U.S. Poor?

Nov 9, 2010 • 8:29 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Geo-location, determining the location of an internet user based on their ISP's location, is not an exact science. We know it can often be wrong, but yet, many sites that try to personalize the experience for their users based on their location use it. Because more often than not, it is pretty good. It is obviously even better on mobile devices that utilize GPS or cell tower triangularization but for those sitting behind their computers, on their desk - most rely on ISP data.

A WebmasterWorld thread has two senior members from outside of the U.S. complaining that Google can't find them. Here are there posts:

I'm in Lincolnshire in the UK, the second largest county in the entire UK, searching Google.co.uk for something specific HOWEVER Google in all its infinite attempted AI architecture keeps giving me Lincolnshire, Illinois, a village, a suberb of Chicago.

I have searched several times on google.com.au for [niche] [location] where location is also a small town in the US, and gotten US results - where I had 'pages from Australia' checked.

Proof it is not perfect and Google knows this. Google has a form people can use to submit errors in their auto-location. The form is over here and can be used to submit errors in Google auto-detecting the wrong location.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

11/09/2010 05:26 pm

It's getting screwed up for me here in the US. I can start out surfing on the West Coast and find myself looking at local businesses in New York. I have to clear my cookies to change that.

Alan Mitchell

11/10/2010 10:15 pm

I know the UK is particularly inaccurate due to the UK's IP infrastructure being a big mess. Servers for one city are often located in another, so it's hard for even Google to figure that out. I remember targeting Machester and having ads appear in Portsmouth...

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