International Google Searches Without a VPN

There are times when you need to make a country-specific search on Google.

What I mean is…

Searching Google to see what the SERP looks like in a country different from the one you are in. For instance, if you are an SEO working on local SEO, you might need to perform SERP analysis in the location of the business you are working on.

And, when it comes to international Google searches, you can always pay for a VPN.

Well, guess what.

You can easily see results for different countries without using a VPN and without changing your current location settings.

In this post, you’ll learn how to easily get search results from other countries.

How to See Country-Specific Search Results

The process of working around Google’s domain policy is pretty straightforward. In fact, the only thing you need is a list of Google’s country codes and URLs. I’m actually going to show you two ways to go about seeing country-specific results when sitting somewhere halfway around the world.

Amending the Google Homepage URL

The first way to avoid using a VPN to see international results is by amending the URL on the Google homepage. So let’s do this together.

To get started, simply go to the Google home page.

Now, when you do that, Google will give you search results from your current location.

If you want to know what your current location is, scroll down to the bottom of the SERP.
Bottom of Google Search displaying location
Now, to see Google results from another country, you can easily add a geo-location to the home page URL.

To do that, add /?gl=[country code] to the end of the URL.

You’ll notice at the bottom of the page, that Google has changed the country previously shown.

So, for instance, if you want to look at results in Canada, add /?gl=ca to the Google home page URL.

The URL should look like this:

Google displaying the location is Canada

What did we do here? First, we searched Google in our current location. Then we simply told Google to change the geolocation to Canada, as in /?gl=ca. The same formula works for any country. Meaning, if I wanted to see UK search results, I would tack on /?gl=uk.

You can find a list of Google’s country codes here.

Let’s see how this actually plays out on the SERP. After tacking on /?gl=uk to the Google homepage I searched for theatre tickets and received:
Google displaying UK text results
You’ll notice, that despite not being in the UK I was shown sites that either ended with or that directly related to the London theatre.

Moving to Hong Kong now (by tacking on /?gl=hk), I searched for ‘movie theatre’  and lo and behold a SERP that contained a Hong Kong movie theatre Local Pack displayed:

Google displaying a local pack featuring results from Hong Kong

Another Way to See Google Results From Another Country

The other way to see Google international results is to amend the URL after executing a search. The upshot here is that you can actually see the results change by amending the URL.

So let’s start by entering the query right into the search box without further amending the URL. Now, once you’ve entered your search and are on the results page, head back up to the URL and enter /&gl=us, or /&gl=uk, or /&gl=se, etc., etc., at the end of the URL. (Take note, when using this method to use ‘&’ after the / and not ‘?’.)

So, for instance, I Googled the term ‘pizza hut’, and added /&gl=ca.

In other words, I searched Google and then changed the location to Canada.

This is what I see:

Google showing the Canadial Pizza Hut site

As you can see, Google presents the Canadian version of the Pizza Hut site.

Okay, let’s compare the results.

I ran a search for craft beer. Without any URL amending we get the following US results:

Craft Beer US resutls

Now, at the end of the URL, tack on /&gl=se (this is Sweden’s country code, but again, it’s the same formula for any country). Now we get the following results for the same query:

Sweedish results for Craft Beer

As you can see from the screenshot above, Google is showing results from Sweden. This doesn’t only include text results (which include .se in the URL) but includes SERP features too.

International Google Search: An Easy Workaround

As you can see, it’s easy to see what Google presents in other countries.

What’s more, doing this is far cheaper than purchasing a VPN and much quicker than changing your country settings.

Of course, you could just track international keywords with the Rank Ranger rank tracker, and let us do the work for you!

I hope you’ve found this little trick helpful, and as always, let me know if you have any questions.

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