Google has expanded the choices in its Search Options panel with today’s announcement of a tool to refine searches by location.
After doing a search and opening the “Show Options” panel, you’ll see a new link labeled “nearby.”
Clicking that link leads to a few refinement options: You can use the default location Google has for you, or type in a custom location for your search. The other option is to select between City, Region, or State-level searches, as shown below.
In these images, I’ve already done a local search on the term “seattle restaurants.” This new search refinement doesn’t really do much in a situation like this. The businesses that are listed in the “7-pack” didn’t change in my testing; the only changes were to some of the organic listings when I switched from city to region to state.
In Google’s blog post, it uses examples such as “things to do on St. Patrick’s Day” and “food blogs” — more generic terms are clearly how this option is meant to be used.
Much like Google’s decision last year to show local results on non-local queries, this new search refinement could impact how people search. With several easily-clickable links on the screen, searchers could no longer need to repeat searches with new queries, such as going from “seattle luxury car dealer” to “bellevue luxury car dealer” to “tacoma luxury car dealer,” etc. One-word search queries are reportedly up by 17% in the past year, and this location refinement may reinforce that trend … if, in fact, people are actually using Google’s Search Options panel.
For more about Google’s search options feature, see these posts from us: