How do I view Google US results when I’m in Canada?

I get this question asked a lot from co-workers and customers.

Whenever you open up a web browser and and type www.google.com in any browser, Google will automatically change the url to www.google.ca and page to Google Canada.
Google is geotargeting based on your ip address.  It does this to provide relevant results to Canadian surfers.  Google knows that the vast majority of people within a particular country want to be directed to a Google site that is themed to their specific location and language.

But what happens if you want to do a keyword search and find out what US surfers are seeing on their computers.

To bypass geotargeting, you modify the end of Google browser URLs.

For example, when I do a search for “christmas”, the Google browser URL is:

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=christmas

So if you want to view Google.com US results from Canada, just add &gl=us to the end of the above url.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=christmas&gl=us

This will bring up what you would see if you were a Google.com user located here in the United States. This same thing can be done to bring up results from other countries just change the country code in that URL to whichever one you’d like to see.

To see a list of two digit country and territory codes, go here.

If you’re using Firefox browser, download this plugin called Google Global Extension which makes it easier or permanently access Google US results all the time.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

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