The (My) Problem with Googles IP Based Search Results

So, more and more Google is serving local business results for generic search terms such as Italian Restaurants and using IP location to determine which listings appear. The problem is that your IP is not always located in the same city as your physical location. I am located in Virginia Beach but my IP is based in Chesapeake, VA. So, as I search for a delicious Italian restaurant to have lunch at today (mmm, carbs) I am served a 10 pack of terrific ideas…but they are in Chesapeake!

Based on the Latitude and Longitude above, my IP is located a whopping 21.5 miles from my physical location.

So now, instead of choosing from one of these mediocre Italian restaurants,

I’m forced to refine my search to include “Virginia Beach.”

I am all for Google serving localized results, and in most cases I’m sure the results are quite relevant to user’s queries. But for me, and anyone else with an IP located in a different area than their physical location, my desperate search for Monday afternoon “fuel” just got a bit more complicated…oh well. Until Google’s geo targeting gets a bit more sophisticated, I’ll continue to include geo identifiers in my search queries.

The most surprising thing here is that my same search for “Italian Restaurant” in Yahoo gives me a few options only a stones throw from my actual location…Who would ‘a thought!

Has anyone else experienced similar frustrations with Google’s IP based local search results?

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Jeremy Sherman

As the Vice President of Operations, Jeremy Sherman oversees CM’s client service operations, including content marketing, SEO, social media, paid search, and web design & development. He enjoys golfing, spending time with his wife and two dogs and sipping a craft IPA.
  • Thanks, Great Article… sometimes i use different IPs from all over the world. My main reason is to see a different set of search results, but i’ve never really experienced this problem, i imagine if people at starbucks connect up to some globabl vpn they might have the same problem.

  • You are right. I guess that’s why nearly 40% of all search queries have some sort of local intent. I’m interested to see how this dynamic will change with Google’s change.