Tagged geolocation

Playing with algorithms

Where can you find the world’s best pizza? What is the most popular curry recipe, headache relief? The answer, according to Google, is it depends. It depends on where you are.

This video shows how the Google search algorithm tracks geolocation and changes keyword suggestions, search results and displayed ads accordingly. Using a VPN software, I pretended that I am from several different countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland)  The same search phrases yield different search results depending on location.

While the algorithm’s influence on recommendations about restaurants and recipes are relatively harmless, it’s influence on medical information seems like its heading to grey territory. Results from some countries are preceded by ads, pushing the actual information downwards. In fact it is quite ironic that the ads for headache relief are followed by search results for homemade remedies.