Google & Treatment of International Top Level Domains
Belgian blog Netlash looks at different International Google sites (Google.com, Google.be, Google.nl) and does some Belgian based and proxy based searches. They then list the types of sites which appear in each location’s results and which Top Level Domain (TLD) those sites are hosted on.
For example, when searching for ‘webdesign’ on Google.be:
Look at the top-5 results. You’ll notice that, while surfing on a Belgian computer, on the Belgian Google site, you’ll get results that are all Belgian companies.
Fair enough. And on Google.com :
You’ll notice that, when Google thinks you’re on an ‘American’ computer (through the proxy), the results are international sites.
So Google determines the location of the surfer, probably based on the IP-address of the computer, and serves results based on that location.
Jumping to conclusions? Some tips for Netlash:
1. Use a real word. ‘Webdesign‘ would normally be searched for as ‘web design’ wouldn’t it?
2. Expand your study. I believe Netlash could be jumping to conclusions a bit by publishing a case study on how Google, on an International level, serves and localizes sites based upon searches for one non-word in three versions of Google.
Netlash does finish the post with a link to a very useful tool, the insanely cluttered Google World Wide Search Comparison Tool from Oy-Oy.