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Google Search results are customised based on your location and your search history.

Can you do a search that is independent of these factors, so that different users in different parts of the world get the same results for a particular search term?

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5 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

YES and NO.

To search on Google being independent from you search history YES! you simply have to reset browser (delete cache, cookies, history, etc) prior searching on Google. The browser MUST not have Google Toolbar installed too. Since you probably don't want to do it on the main browser you are using every day a good option could be to install a browser just to do these type of tests, You can then reset such browser whenever you want because you are not interested in keeping cookies/history/contents... there.

To search on Google being location independent NO! I think it's not possible because Google sees the IP you use to navigate and can easily geo locate you from it. You would need to search using a proxy, but still Google would geolocate the proxy from its IP.

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This works on an individual level but not on a global level which is what they're asking about. –  John Conde May 4 '11 at 12:08
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I would expect Google's data centres around the world to hold localised data for search results, so there may be no location-independent data centre. –  Liam May 3 '12 at 9:35
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To bypass any geotargeting you can use a several techniques and test the results: use google.com/ncr to go to any local google property without country redirect (ncr stands for no country redirect).

you can use the pws=0 parameter to disable personalized results (e.g google.com/#q=google&pws=0)

you can set another country geo location using the gl paramter (e.g google.com/#q=google&gl=us)

Using proxies (or VPN) is the best solution for geo targeting up to the city level but you can also use free extensions to Chrome or Firefox such as hola! or Google Global

using incognito or clear browsing data as mentioned above are not perfect solutions as Google keeps a copy of your search history on their servers, to see your history log in to your account and browse to: https://history.google.com/history/ this data is available to Google even if you are not logged in. Do all the experiment using an anonymous browser such as Tor or a browser where all history and browsing data was deleted and without logging in to your account.

just using the two parameters mentioned above should get you the same results from any location in the world - you can also run tests using Google ad preview tool found at: https://adwords.google.com/d/AdPreview/‎.

Finally, you can set your location using Google's own search settings up to the street level. Search for something, click the wrench icon, choose location and set your preferred location.

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I am totally agree, Google identifies your IP address not the browser settings and its extremly target to the localisation, Get another IP address and search otherwise, you can try proxy websites.

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You can use the privacy mode of your web browser to avoid personalization. No cookies, no cache, no history means no personalization.

You cannot turn off localization, which is based on your IP address, and is part of Google's load balancing (your queries are returned from the nearest/fastest data center).

You can use various proxy services to search from a location that is different from your own. There are also some tools that let you enter a search and it will return results from a different target country. Ironically, some of the most popular ones search as if you are in the US if you are in another country. The way these work is that you enter a query and then that website forwards the query onto Google from their own server which is local to where you want your results from. Thus, Google thinks the request is coming from London instead of Texas. The results are then passed along to you from the proxy server. (Incidentally, this also has the effect of turning off personalization since it isn't your computer that actually makes the search.)

If you use Firefox, you can also try an extension called Google Global that will show you the search results for the same query from different countries.

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No. Customization and localisation is how Google is offering their results now as it allows them to offer better and more targeted results to their users. There is no way to stop this.

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