How to Change Your Google Location
Google’s search engine works with a localization feature that has the ability to gear our search results toward our physical location. For example, if we were based in New York City and looked up “hotels,” our results would show us hotels in New York City. Localized searching is supposed to help you find what you’re looking for faster, which seems like a good idea. But sometimes, we want to see the search results that people see somewhere else, and while we used to be able to change our location in Google to let us do that, they took this feature away some time ago.
Why would you want to change the location you search from? This feature was useful for businesses who want to see search results from where their customers live. For instance, if I run a business in the United States but I sell things in Japan, I would want to see the search results for my company and its products as the people in Japan see them and be able to study those results to see what I could do better. I might also just want to hide my location from Google and pretend I’m from somewhere else to protect my privacy.
But just because Google won’t let us change our location in an obvious way doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Here are a few different methods for how to change Google location and see what other people see.
I Search From
Perhaps the easiest way to see Google results from another location is to go to ISearchFrom.com. Just type in the country you want to search from, the language you want the results in, the type of device you want to see results from (desktop or mobile), and the search term you want to use. This tool is especially useful for companies working on their website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising campaigns.
Emulation in Chrome
Google Chrome has a wonderful set of developer tools, and one of them is the emulation feature. You can access Google results from any location by setting Chrome to emulate another location.
- With Chrome open, press CTRL + Shift + I to open the developer tab.
- Click on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner.
- Go to More Tools > Sensors. This will open the sensor tab at the bottom.
- You should see a “Geolocation” section with a drop-down box. Either use the drop-down box to choose a pre-defined location or choose “Custom Location” and enter the latitude and longitude for your location.
- Search as normal on Google.
This is a popular method for how to change Google location, but if you want to see results in a specific location not listed in the drop-down, you’ll need to go look up the coordinates for it first.
We can create custom searches in Google by adding parameters to the URL to narrow the results. You can use “&near=” to focus a search on a certain location. Here’s how to do it:
- Type in your search term in Google and hit Enter. We’ll use “cowboy hats” as an example.
- Look at the URL in the address bar. If we search for “cowboy hats,” we see that the URL ends with “cowboy+hats&oq=cowboy+hats”: Right after this part, add “&near=” and the name of the location (such as “&near=Texas”).
- Hit Enter to see your new results.
Changing Your IP Address
If you’re less concerned about seeing local search results and more concerned about hiding your location from Google, there’s a simpler way to do it: Download Hotspot Shield VPN. Our service will mask your IP address and replace it with another, so neither Google nor anyone else will be able to see your true location. If this is what you’re looking for, you can download our VPN software and try it for free today.