With a few tweaks and an interface change, Google has placed location and location-based search front-and-center in its search engine.
The big change, announced earlier today on Google’s Blog, is that Google() has moved the user location setting to the left-hand panel of the search engine results page. This feature automatically detects your current location and tailors search results based on that. For example, searches for “pizza” or “gyms” will provide local business results near your location, which tend to be a lot more relevant than a Wikipedia() article on everybody’s favorite cheesy snack.
The change rolls out starting today and will be available to users in 40-plus languages sometime soon.
Now that the location setting will be on the right side of the search engine results page, users can easily change it if Google gets it wrong or if a user wants to find restaurants near a different location. Say you’re about to travel to New Orleans and you want to find the best gumbo near your hotel; all you have to do is type in the new city or zip code and Google will adjust search results based on that location.