Switch your regional Google search page to Google.com

October 21, 2009

Google’s pretty clever. It knows where you are (based on your IP address?) and so your ‘home’ Google address if you’re in Australia is google.com.au; it’s google.co.nz in New Zealand; google.co.uk in the United Kingdom; google.no in Norway, etc. Even if you type in google.com you still get your local Google. American readers may not even know that this regional redirection occurs as they always see Google.com.

But what if you DON’T want Google to use the regional variation? There are two tricks you can use to stop Google using the local Google:

  • To temporarily use Google.com for the current browsing session, go to this URL: http://www.google.com/webhp (webhp = web home page???)
  • To permanently turn off the regional variation and always use Google.com, go to this URL: http://www.google.com/ncr (ncr = no country redirect). You may need to clear your browser cache and cookies and perhaps reboot for this to work permanently.

If you use the Google Toolbar, you can change the default regional Google.com site you use in the Options. So, if you’re a Norwegian living or travelling in Australia, you could set the default Google home page to the Norwegian one (NOTE: I haven’t tried this when travelling, so I can’t verify that it works exactly like that!).

[Links last checked September 2009]

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