Some time ago already, Google made a few changes to its user interface. One of the things that changed was the way you tell the search engine that you only want to see pages from South Africa in your search.
Now personally, I would think that if you’re searching www.google.co.za, then by default, you should be shown pages from South Africa first, but if you go to Google.co.za, the default is to show you pages from the web.
Before this change, it used to be easy to see which pages were South African ones, because all you did was click a little link below the search bar, (and then later on the left of the results), to change the focus to local.
It would not be unreasonable to assume that clicking the word “Web” might change your results from “pages from the web” to “page from South Africa.” It’s red, and it’s even underlined. But it doesn’t.
If you click the word “web” there, do you know what happens? Nothing, that’s what happens.
No, if you want to see local results, pages and sites that are probably specific to your location in the world, you now have to follow these three steps:
1: Click on the “Search Tools” button.
2: Click on the small drop-down menu labelled “the web” underneath the word “web” that looks like a link but isn’t.
3: Select “pages from South Africa” from that drop-down menu.
Is it just me, or is that a lot of work to see the sites that are most likely to be relevant to me? More than half the people I ask don’t even know how to do it. They think that “pages from South Africa” has been removed.
It hasn’t. It’s just been hidden away. Could it be another step in trying to downplay organic results and promote the need for Google Ads? I’ll leave it to you o think about.