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When I originally wrote this article, Google’s local results were mainly based on IP location, but since then their local Google Canadian searches have improved.

Google makes it easier for Canadian companies that have a .com domain and not hosted in Canada with an Canadian IP. Simply log into Google Webmaster Tools, (create an account if not already done so), under Tools, click on Set geographic target and choose the country you are looking to target. Using regional keywords within the content will also help for local Canadian search results.

There are a few ways to show up in Google Canada results  (when selecting pages from Canada) solely bases Canadian websites based on their hosting IP. That is any website that happens to get hosting in Canada, can qualify to be listed under Google Canada (selecting pages from Canada option). Another option for sites showing the Google Canada results is having a .ca domain extension, and one of the other main ways for sites to show up in Google Search Results is to set their Geographic Target location.

For those that are solely looking for Canadian sites, this can get extremely frustrating at times. If a US company with a .com domain name chooses to have their hosting provider from Canada (and their servers are based in Canada), this could result in their search results showing in Google Canada.

Google Local Search

Google local search is vastly improving. Even when doing generic searches, you will see results from your local area. Based on your IP address and Google Places for Businesses enables all companies (website or not) to at least have a local listing for their business. So, even if your favorite local shop does not have a website, they may be listed locally in Google Places.

The Local Search Continues

Recently, whilst looking for a somewhat big ticket item to purchase, I opted for Google Canada and selected pages from Canada (hoping to actually see Canadian Companies). I found I was finding US companies that did not ship to Canada, or with higher shipping and duty costs, the price would of been a lot higher.

So, basically pages from Canada with Google are not solely Canadian companies, but companies that happen to be hosted in Canada. I hope this will change in the foreseeable future. If this happens to change, it will give Canadian companies a big boost.

Ultimately as the years progress for Google, Local Canadian search is becoming less of a problem!