Search Google.com rather than local Google

27 February 2013, 09:00

By default Safari will search your “local” Google — in the UK, it’ll search Google.co.uk, for example, rather than Google.com.

This can be annoying because Google has a habit of localizing search results. Search for “test” in the UK, for example, and the first result is a page about test cricket. Search for “test” on Google.com and you’ll get results about testing software.

Localized results can be useful, however, so rather than turning it off you can add a bookmark that when clicked will instantly repeat the search using the main Google.com page. Here’s how:

1. Create a bookmark for this page by hitting Cmd+D. It doesn’t matter what you bookmark because we’re going to overwrite the bookmark’s data. However, select to add the bookmark to the Bookmarks Bar (assuming you use this — otherwise save it to the standard bookmarks menu list).

2. Click Bookmarks → Show All Boomarks. Find the bookmark you created. Click the name of the bookmark, then hit Return, and overtype the text with something memorable — something like “Search Google.com”.

3. Click and hold the URL next to it, which will let you overtype the URL data, then copy and paste the following — note that this is designed to replace .co.uk Google searches with the main .com page. If you’re from a different country, replace the .co.uk component in the line with your country’s top level domain — Australian users would replace .co.uk with com.au, for example (triple-click the following lines to select all of them because they run off the edge of the page):

javascript:location.href=location.href.split(%22.co.uk%22).join(%22.com%22);

Here’s an example of how it should look for Australian users:

javascript:location.href=location.href.split(%22.com.au%22).join(%22.com%22);

German users:

javascript:location.href=location.href.split(%22.de%22).join(%22.com%22);

Canadian users:

javascript:location.href=location.href.split(%22.ca%22).join(%22.com%22);

And that’s all that’s needed. To use your new “delocalization” tool, just do a search in the usual way from the Address & Search Bar of Safari, then click the bookmark to repeat the search in Google.com. To prove that the search has changed you can drag the magnifying glass icon to the left of the Search and URL field — this will show in ghosted form the URL of the search. Just hit Esc to cancel the drag once you’re satisfied the search has changed.

For what it’s worth the bookmark will convert any regional site to the .com version — if a Brit is browsing canon.co.uk, clicking it will switch the site to canon.com.

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