Friday, July 20, 2018

Always search Google in English by making Google NCR your default search engine


Here's a simple way to set your browser so that you always get pure English results, no matter what. This can be done by switching the standard Google search engine for their "No Country Redirect" version which is still active and takes just a Chrome preferences tweak.

Change Chrome's search URL to Google NCR


Adding Google NCR as a Chrome search engine


  1. Go to Chrome's settings
  2. Search for "manage search" and click "Manage search engines."
  3. Click "Add" 
  4. In the pop-up, name it "Google NCR" or whatever, and for the URL paste in this:


https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&pws=0&gl=us&gws_rd=cr

That's it. Save it and make it your default. 

Different results: localized vs. non-localized


Now anything you search for in the URL bar will return pure Google.com results in English. The downside of course is potentially less relevant results (it won't include much from Korea). For example, here's how it compares searching "Lotteria" both by normal Chrome default settings on top (using localized results) and after setting the NCR search settings (using non-localized results):

Localized google.co.kr results vs NCR google.com results for "Lotteria"

You can see that the localized version brought OneBox info including a map of local branches and links to their Korean SNS pages. The "pure English" results didn't. So be aware that some results may be different. 


Why bother doing this?


In Korea, when you type something into your Chrome URL bar to search, you probably get results back that are partially in Korean. The Google interface might be in Korean too. A little side pop-up will appear asking if you want results in English (you can see it in the above screenshot). It can get pretty annoying clicking that every time. 

You could just log-in to your account. Or if you have cookies set, clicking that once should do the trick. But what if you clean your system out regularly and scrub it of all cookies and log-ins? Or are using the incognito mode? This method ensures you always get pure English results no matter what. Just be aware of the non-localized results you'll get back. It may not be worth it if you're searching Korean stuff. 


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