Search Engines and Localization – How Are They Connected?
Have you ever noticed how when you use a search engine the results are given in your language? Or that you’ll see results for your location before anything else? Some websites are even localized to your area, showing results in your currency. Localization is a growing trend that aims to bring internet users content that’s relevant to them. But how does your browser know what’s relevant to you? How do they know what’s in your area, or what language you prefer?
In this article, we take a look at what localization is and just how it works. We’ll also mention ways that you can trick browsers into thinking you’re from another location entirely by using location-specific proxies, such as the UK proxy service. Tools like this can make it look like you’re accessing the internet from within the country even if you’re halfway across the world.
How Do Search Engines Localize Data?
Localization is the process of adapting content to a specific audience. This could mean translating content, adhering to cultural norms for the audience, changing the currency to a specific audience, and even adapting images and videos to appeal to the cultural norms of the audience. Search engines are placing a higher value on localized content to ensure they provide internet users with results that are most relevant to them.
This is why when you search you’ll likely get results in your own language, the currency of your country, and even from businesses located near you. But how do search engines know what to show you? The answer is that most of this is linked directly to your IP address.
What Is an IP Address?
An IP address or Internet Protocol address is a unique identifier that’s assigned to your network. It’s similar to a street address, but for using the internet. IP addresses consist of a string of numbers, and they’re assigned by your ISP.
There’s a specific way that IP’s get assigned and they’re never just random. IP’s are mathematically produced and assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). These IP’s are then assigned country by country, town by town, and finally to the local internet service providers. When you sign up with a service provider they provide you with an IP from their list based on your location.
What Role Does Your IP Address Play in How the Internet Works
Your IP plays a major role in how you use the internet. For one thing, your IP is essential in facilitating communication between your device and the internet. Nobody can use the internet without an IP address. Even if you use tools like VPN or a UK proxy service to obscure or hide your IP, the IP is still required to facilitate communication and is often just replaced with a different one.
Your IP address is used to connect to the internet and facilitate communication between your device and the website or platforms you’re trying to access. Whenever you make a request, the browser, website, or online platform can see your IP address, along with any other information contained within it.
How Does Your IP Address Affect What You See Online?
Your IP address contains quite a bit of your information, which websites and search engines use to improve your browsing experience and deliver personalized results. One of the details contained within your IP is your location. Due to the way IP’s are assigned, it’s easy for search engines to determine your location based on your IP. This means they’ll try to provide you with results relevant to your location before anything else.
Based on your location, search engines can also determine your language. Then they’ll try to give you results in your language first, before showing results in other languages. The exact same thing goes for currencies.
Furthermore, search engines keep a copy of all your searches and which results you interact with. This information is all linked to your IP address. This makes it possible for the search engine to get an understanding of your preferences and browsing habits so they can deliver better results. Have you ever noticed that when you use a different device such as computers at the library or an internet cafe, suddenly you get different search results than you do at home? This is why.
The same thing happens when you suddenly start using a UK proxy service for example, to protect your online anonymity. The proxy hides your real IP and provides a different one within the UK. As such, you’re more likely to see more results for the local country. This is also how you can access geo-restricted content because the browsers believe you’re located within the country.
Localization is another evolution in how we use the internet. It’s meant to give users better search results that are more relevant to them. What you see on the internet and how your results are localized, is directly linked to your IP address. While it’s possible to obscure your IP, you can’t remove it completely and still use the internet.