As Local Search Specialists have undoubtedly noticed, Google has removed the function to change your Google Search results by location. This is a blow for SEOers and webmasters who want to see and test SERP results based on different locales.
Geo-specific search results are especially important for national businesses and franchises that operate in multiple geo locations.

local search filter removed

The reason from Google for removing the location search filter was simply:
“It was getting very little usage, so we’re focusing on other features.”

Luckily, local SEO experts have come up with numerous workarounds for the removed feature, and here are my top 3 solutions (in no particular order):



This nifty site lets users put in a country, language, and even select a mobile device before entering your search phrase, along with more indepth options for those that really want to get specific SERP results:



The “&near=” parameter involves manually adding &near=location to your search URL. Please note that this method may eventually be patched or removed by Google:

how to use near parameter



Yes, you read correctly – of course a viable solution to a natural/organic search problem is found within Google Adwords. This seems to be a familiar trend. The Google Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool is usually used to determine whether or not your ad is currently being shown. However, you can take advantage of this tool to see the SERPs for a particular location – you can even change the language and device category:

ad preview diagnosis

About Scott Shorter

Scott Shorter in a SEO and digital marketing specialist with 20 years of experience. He has been a guest speaker for the Advertising Council of Australia, Engineering Institute of Technology, WA Leaders association as an industry expert and Edith Cowan University, from which he graduated with a B.Comms – BSc (M) Multimedia & Internet Computing in 2005. His agency Scott Shorter Pty Ltd was founded in 2011 in response to a market demand for a dedicated SEO and digital marketing agency.

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