Using Google to conduct a due-diligence background check can be unnerving because search results can vary widely depending on the individual user.
Google continually alters its algorithms to refine the way search results appear, such as by making search results highly personalized for each user. This Google-narrowed approach may be great if you’re looking for the nearest organic food market or French bistro. But not if you want to make sure you are vacuuming all the dirt on an obscure business topic.
The location setting on Google can have a significant impact on your research.
For example, if you’re researching a Louisiana casino, you’re more likely to find an insider’s microblog by telling Google you are in New Orleans. Knowing how to change your location setting can help you narrow search results — in a manner that you choose, not Google.
Tell Google where you “are” by using the “Search Tools” option in the toolbar immediately above the first hit after you search. Clicking Search Tools brings down your location – New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, etc. By changing that location, you may see entirely different links.
In the United States, you can enter a city name, state or zip code. You can also simply enter “United States.”
For international searches, first go to the Google country page (i.e. www.google.co.uk) and then enter a city.