Google is fantastic. It’s the glue of the world wide web, but sometimes it can be a bit of the pain. Not least of all if you are searching on a term that has multiple meanings, for example if you’re searching for the fruity snack “apple” you might see things in your search relating the giant electronics manufacturer, “Apple”. That kind of incident is probably going to be a one off but if the term is something you use often, like your local region, then the frustration is amplified.
If you are from Jersey in the Channel Islands, like I am, and have ever been to the U.S. then you’ve probably had a conversation like this:
|“So, where you from then buddy?”
|“I’m from Jersey.”
|“God Damn!!! Well excuse me but I thought you had an English accent there! Like that Hugh Grant fella.”
|“Yes, I do. Jersey is part of Great Britain.”
|“What you talking about? Now I’m not from those parts but I know Jersey is part of the good ‘ole U S of A!”
|“You are referring to New Jersey which is so called because it was first inhabited by fisherman from Jersey in the Channel Islands – where I am from.”
|“God damn Europeans!!! Waitress… where’s my burger!!!??
Ok, may be I’m over doing the stereotype a little, but you get the picture. When you include the search term “Jersey” in your Google.com search it most likely comes up with a majority of results relating to “New Jersey”. I suppose it’s not Google’s fault, New Jersey’s population has an additional couple of zeros on the end compared to ours, however, this doesn’t help resolve our problem.
There are however a few very simple steps to make sure you get more Jersey CI centred results:
By far the biggest tip is to use Google.co.uk or even (not everyone knows about this one) Google.je. These sites give prominence to UK based search results rather than just global results like those from Google.com
Another tasty tip is to include the following syntax in your search term: -“new jersey”
The minus sign in front of any word or group of words will exclude all results that contain that term. You definitely won’t get any NE America results if you include the above in your search but remember this will also exclude articles with things like “a new jersey company has been launched”.
Include things like 01534, Channel Islands, JE3 or JE2 if you are looking for the website of a company or individual.
Additional to this, Google is introducing new local search facilities as well as Social Search which takes into consideration content that your Twitter, Facebook or other social media pals are accessing. If you allow it (there are privacy settings to switch it off) then Google also learns from your previous searches and tries to tailor content to your requirements. As you can imagine this isn’t an easy thing to do but progress is being made. All of these innovations should give greater emphasis to content closer to home.
Google Social Search