The next time you Google something with a local angle, a slightly different page of search results may appear. Google's decided to update its approach to presenting local results by making individuals' location settings clear.
The company announced this afternoon, "Today we're moving your location setting to the left-hand panel of the results page to make it easier for you to see and control your preferences. With this new display you're still getting the same locally relevant results as before, but now it's much easier for you to see your location setting and make changes to it."
There are three (or four, depending on how you count them) possible reasons for this development. The first is a bit embarrassing for Google: now, people can correct the default setting when the search giant gets it wrong.
This change also makes it easier for people who are planning a trip or moving to change the setting.
Finally, even though Google isn't updating the actual search results themselves, showing the location setting may be a way of encouraging people to conduct more local searches.
Before this adjustment, anyone wanting to alter their setting would have had to click on "View customizations" and then "Change location."