Google now lets you refine search results by location, the company announced today.
The options sidebar now includes a “Nearby” link, which restricts search results to pages related to your area. This is better than simply adding the name of your location to your search, Google says, because it leverages actual geography. That is, you won’t get results for another city of the same name, or miss results that refer to your location using a different term (“Manhattan” versus “New York” or “Chelsea”, for instance.)
By default, Google uses your location as determined by your IP address, but you can manually set your location to wherever you like.
Presumably, the goal of this filter is to encourage users to search for local businesses and subsequently click on ads from local businesses (a market Google and everybody else online has yet to tap).
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