You probably noticed that some of your searches in Google have started to magically show results in your city even if you didn’t specify a city. This is due to a somewhat new feature in Google whereby they are detecting your location automatically. Someone in San Diego doing a search on “web hosting” is going to find EPhost in one of the top positions. However, the same search originated in Indianapolis, Indiana would likely yield different results.
You can change your location from the left-side menu and in the settings area. If you specify nothing then it auto-detects your location. In any case, unless I am missing something, I don’t see a way to disable it all together.
It does seem that this isn’t universal yet on all keywords and may be limited to the more competitive keywords / industries. It also hasn’t gone into effect on mobile devices- well at least my iPhone. Certain companies still transcend this and appear in the search results of many cities. e.g. GoDaddy in the case of “web hosting” search from San Diego. Not to mention, a search on “web hosting san diego” will yield slightly different results. I would guess that if you explicitly specified San Diego then the results should certainly be restricted to San Diego companies. This probably Google’s way of breaking us into the whole idea.
It was only a matter of time that search results became localized. Why do I, the searcher, really care about doing business across country when a company here in town may be just as suited to what I need? You probably never would have found this company before because they were buried in the 10th page of the “global” listings. I think it promotes healthy competition in the case of highly competitive keywords. If you continue on page two of the search results the location becomes wider and your typical global results appear anyway.
Those with top”global” listings in a particular keyword will probably find themselves in lower or higher positions depending on the popularity of the keyword and location of the searcher.
I will go on record now and say that this continue into neighborhood results and listings within a certain radius of your present location in the case of mobile devices in the future. It only seems natural. Those companies that are in highly competitive keywords should be aware of this and take advantage of it.