Google announced today that it is changing the way it labels country services on the mobile web, Google app for iOS and desktop Search and Maps.
According to Google, one in five searches is now location-related. To make search results more relevant, Google says the country of service will no longer be indicated by the country code top level domain name (ccTLD) such as “google.co.uk” for the UK or “google.com.br” for Brazil, but instead will default to the country where the user is performing the search.
From the Google Search Blog:
So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.
Google says that typing the relevant ccTLD into a browser will no longer return various country services. Instead, users must go into their settings and select the correct country service if they don’t see the country they want while browsing.
“This preference should be managed directly in settings. In addition, at the bottom of the search results page, you can clearly see which country service you are currently using,” writes Google.
Google says this latest update will improve the search experience by automatically providing users “… the most useful information based on your search query and other context, including location.”