Google Removes Search Location Filter and What it Means

For users of SearchStation this does not change anything. SearchStation does not use “methods” to generate approximate local search results. We generate 100% accurate local search rank reporting – no tricks or work-arounds.

For some background on our take on the accuracy of local search rank checkers. There is no way to trick Google into giving you results for any other location than your actual physical location (from where your search originates) everything else is a compromise. I have yet to find the comparison test for a search rank tool that compares actual on-location testing and the (remote) search rank checker. Anyone?

From AWR…”Up until today, Advanced Web Ranking was delivering Google localized ranking results based on the now-extinct filtering option. With the removal of the location filter, a source of ranking data is now lost.” quoted from

If you read the comments (which I highly recommend) from webmasters who have used this feature, you’ll get a good sense of what it means and invaluable insight into local search.

AWR goes on to say “More specifically, for each location based search engine you have in your projects, we’ll be automatically appending the location to your keywords when querying Google.“, which means, you will get an approximation. Whether this is close enough to make significant marketing decisions is up to you. We know that appending location keywords to a keyword or phrase does not produce the results seen locally.

AWR… “it may be possible to get different results than a person located in the city you are tracking, but at this moment, this is the only option Google provides to get similar results to the previous ones. As soon as other options become available..

Regardless of how you “want” to represent your location so you can get local results, Google auto-detects the source of your search. Here is the link to “How location is auto-detected“. “If you don’t set your location, Google shows an approximate location based on the following things to help provide you with the most relevant results:”

  • Your IP address.
  • Your Location History if you have it turned on
  • Google Toolbar’s My Location feature if it’s turned on<< the now defunct feature >>
  • Recent locations you’ve searched for

Besides proxy servers and augmenting a location to your keywords, there are some other approximation methods you should be aware of when buying or subscribing to a search rank tool:

The uule parameter – more on that at MOZ. This method is now the standard seemingly used by most tools, either as a primary or backup method.

Rank Tracker is using the Chrome Emulation Method – if you are willing to do the elaborate setup.

These are still “methods” that can be made obsolete by Google at any time.

———– Other recommended articles to read on the subject: