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Google Making Location More Obvious, Prominent

I’m not seeing it exactly but Google has said the company is making location more “transparent” or more obvious to users so that they can control it and, presumably, offer better location information to Google for an improved overall experience.

From the Google Public Policy Blog:

Today we’re moving your location setting to the left-hand panel of the results page to make it easier for you to see and control your preferences. With this new display you’re still getting the same locally relevant results as before, but now it’s much easier for you to see your location setting and make changes to it.

Google screenshot of what this will now look like (left column):


My screen does not yet reflect the change:

My screen without the modifier (note the location box in the middle):

Better location means better ad targeting and more accurate local organic results. Eventually location can become a proxy for demographic data if enough users turn over their home zip codes.

The location capture above is not necessarily seeking home zip. But ultimately Google might be able to start selling audiences (via location) along with keywords, based on Census and Claritas demographic data.

It may or may not ever happen but this is the general direction online advertising is going overall — selling people not publishers.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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