Update (12/3/08): The “let us know” link in this article has been repaired.
In my earlier post, “Why is Google sending me to France?”, I discussed a problem many people are experiencing at Google: Being redirected to another country domain. In my case, France or www.google.fr. Skylarking reader, Lulu, has also been experiencing this problem, as well as a few readers over at Martin Brinkman’s Google Hacks blog.
Though many people have suspected spyware or viral activity, I had suggested a misread or misdirected IP address. Yes, spyware could cause such a problem, but Google’s computers read your IP (Internet Protocol) address, and attempt to detect your geographic location based upon that numeric address.
Today, I found to some people over at Google Groups who were commenting on this same problem. The “Google Guide” responded by directing them to the Google Web Search Help article “Connecting to Google: Redirecting to another country domain”. Here’s what the article had to say:
We normally redirect users in countries other than the United States from http://www.google.com to one of our country-specific sites (e.g. http://www.google.co.uk for Google UK) to provide easy access to country-specific search features. We use your computer’s IP address, which is frequently the Internet address of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), to determine your location and the corresponding Google domain.
If you’d prefer to visit Google.com instead, click the Google.com link on the bottom right-hand side of the Google homepage.
If you have cookies enabled, your browser will connect directly to Google.com on all subsequent visits. For more information on cookies, please visit http://www.google.com/cookies.html and http://www.google.com/privacy.html
Tips to prevent the redirect
If cookies are disabled, you’ll experience the same redirect each time you visit Google. Try these methods to prevent the redirect:
- Enable cookies
- Set a bookmark for http://www.google.com/webhp. This web address is essentially the same as http://www.google.com
Report incorrect IP detection
Finally, if you feel that we’re detecting your IP address incorrectly, please let us know and we’ll investigate.
Using the “let us know” link will take you to a form where you can report a misdirected IP address to Google. The form asks for your Name, email address, your geographic location (City, State, Country), your IP address, and the Google domain you are being redirected to. I filled in the form this afternoon. I’ll see what happens. It will take time, of course.
If you don’t know your IP address, you can find it by going to http://whatsmyip.org/.
Now I just have to find a way to keep my PC here in New York now that it’s seen France. Oh, Google?