Thursday, 20 May 2010

Fixing annoying Australia-centric google results: &gl=

Google seems to prefer giving me Australian results to some of my searches. This is often useful, but sometimes it's annoying.

It looks like adding "&gl=" to the request disables this feature.

Judging by my quick experiments (see below) it's using gl=au by default.













http://www.google.com.au/search?q=university australian results
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=university&gl= world results
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=university&gl=au australian results (same as australian results above)
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=university&gl=uk uk results


The following searches, however, seemed to have only minor variations, with no obvious country biases:

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=smtp+server+component
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=smtp+server+component&gl=
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=smtp+server+component&gl=au
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=smtp+server+component&gl=uk


The effects of the GL parameter seem to be different from using the

* The web
* Pages from Australia

options sometimes available on the left of a google search.

Also note, something I've done (I suspect clicking on the "The web" link) has changed the results I'm now getting for the GL-less seaches.

Oh, I found out about the parameter from http://www.searchmasters.co.nz/articles/204/country-bias-in-google-search-results/

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