Google and Blogger, please stop localizing me!

While writing a piece on the Ubiscribe event at the DEAF festival I went to Blogger’s website. Blogger automatically localizes me based on my IP-address and welcomes me in my own language. Google does the same thing when I go to Google.com it automatically redirects me to Google.nl. Even though I can see the advantages of this I strongly dislike this automatic localizing because I go to the Google.com domain for a reason! Searching something on the Google.com or Google.nl domain gives you different search results and when I look for something that is not Dutch I rather use the Google.com domain.

There are two ways to reach the google.com domain instead of the google.nl domain:

  1. After automatic redirection to Google.nl follow the “Google.com in English link” (which is actually pretty funny because apparently you are on Google.com in Dutch instead of Google.nl.
  2. Run your search on Google.nl and then change http://www.google.nl/search?hl=nl&q=ubiscribe&meta= to http://www.google.nl/search?hl=en&q=ubiscribe&meta= (change nl for en or any other language.) This will give you the same search results as when you are on the Google.com domain.

Here are some screenshots of the different search results Google.com, Google.nl in English and Google.nl produce (the first two produce the same results).

google_comgoogle_engoogle_nlen

Blogger, that has been bought by Google, also localizes me based on my IP-address but does not automatically redirect me from Blogger.com to Blogger.nl for example. I stay on the Blogger.com domain but I am welcomed in Dutch. I can see the advantage of this but I wonder if I can also “return” to the “original” English version. Blogger offers me a Taal/Language link that allows me to toggle the language of the page. More screenshots of this localizing process:

blogger01blogger02blogger03

I can see the advantages of localizing (I want Google to localize me when I visit Google Maps for example. An interesting note is that maps.google.com does not automatically redirect to maps.google.nl.) but sometimes I just want to shout “Please stop localizing me!” What are your thoughts on this automatic localizing and the localized web?

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