Over the past few weeks, I have been seeing sporadic reports in the Google Web Search Help forums around Google dropping the location setting, where you can filter search results based on a specific locale.
Being in the US, I am not too accustomed to seeing such a feature, so I wasn't sure if it was a bug with Google, an issue with the user's browser or a change Google is making.
Well, this all seemed to have blew up yesterday where many are reporting the location setting feature is gone. Again, I am not sure what was there before but I think you were able to set any city as your location, now you cannot.
When I go to Google Canada, I see this in the filter menu:
When I search in the US, I do not see any filter at all for any country:
I also see the option in the footer of Google's search results pages to set my location for Google to better show me more locale specific results. I asked one of them if they see that option in the footer and they said no.
It seems now you are stuck to search as if you are in the country you are currently in and not in a different country.
The first complaint came in on November 14th in the Google Web Search Help saying:
When searching in Google on my *desktop* the searches come up with my [city] location as a focus. I do not want this to happen. I simply want to search the entire web or at least the entire United States without a filter. How can this be accomplished?
I did email Google about this last night but have yet to hear back.
Again, I am not sure if this is a bug or feature change in Google, as soon as I hear back, I will update you all.
Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.
Update: Terry Simmonds has screen shots of before and after he is letting me share.
Update: A Google spokesperson told us this feature was intentionally removed last week. Google said, "it was getting very little usage, so we're focusing on other features."