In the last two days, we’ve been seeing signs that Google may soon make a big change to their search tools. The main sign being that you are no longer able to set your search area. This result has toggled on and off for many of our users but is being seen in increasing numbers. Even more perplexing is that for some it happens during an incognito search only, and for others it happens whether or not they are logged in.

Search Area Removed From Google Search Tools

Google Search (logged in)
Search Area Removed From Google Search Tools

Google (Incognito)
Search Area Removed From Google Search Tools

Google Search (Different User, Logged in)
Search Area Removed From Google Search Tools

This is a huge issue for SEOs working on clients outside of their geo, and for businesses in large metropolitan areas where clients may reside on the other side of the city. If you can no longer choose where you are searching from, how can you optimize your search results for the desired search areas?

Our Thoughts:

  • Google may be pushing keyword research to AdWords or Google Search Console
  • Google may be testing a new tool
  • This could have something to do with optimizing their new Home Services advertising

No matter Google’s reason, we will be keeping an eye on whether on not the search area option returns. Have you seen this result? Let us know your experience in the comments below!