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quadra blog how to fix your google search bar

Like many people in Jersey this week, I found myself getting a crash course in Hungarian when my search browser began defaulting to Unlike many people, it's also my job to make sense of the situation when Google does something stupid like this.


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The issue only seems to affect Chrome searches from the address bar - a function Google calls the OmniBox (because it does everything... apart from search in the correct language).

If you're interested in why this happens, click here to jump to the techie bit. However, if you just want to stop your Google search defaulting to a foreign language, follow these steps:

1) Open a new window

2) Go to Chrome://settings/

3) Scroll down to "Search" and click "Manage Search Engines"


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4) Under "Other Search Engines", scroll to the bottom of the window and select "Add a new search engine"


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Enter the following details:

Add a new search engine:
Keyword: Google Jersey

6) Scroll back to your Default Search Settings and find the new entry. Hover over the right hand side of the address and click "Make Default"


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7) Click "Done" and perform a test search - your search bar should now default to Google.JE!


The Techie Bit

Why does my browser search in a foreign language?

Google wants to be as relevant as possible, which is why it will try to detect which country you're in using cookie data and IP tracking. Sadly, sometimes Google gets this wrong and decides that Jersey is somewhere strange (in this instance, in Hungary).

What does the fix do?

Back in January Google finally recognised Jersey as a country, and was set as the default search engine for users in Jersey. Unfortunately, as your location is based on your IP and most users in Jersey are on a dynamic IP, sometimes Google's system doesn't quite work.

In the standard search engine, Google's first call is for {google:baseURL} , which essentially looks at the user's IP, guesses their country and returns the local version of Google. The search is then added, and the localised results are shown to the user.

This fix overrides the first part of that function, pushing all searches to regardless of your IP (which stops unexpected stuff like the Hungary issue happening in the future!)

I want to be able to search in Hungarian and/or I don't want to use Google Jersey anymore! Can I change it back?

Yes, no problem! Go back into the Search Engine settings (follow the first 3 steps at the top of this post), then hover over one of the other search engines to change your default search engine.

Does this work in Internet Explorer? Does this work in Bing? Something else has happened, what can I do?

This fix has been tested for Google Chrome using Google as the default search engine. If you're experiencing similar issues with another search engine, drop us a comment below or get in touch, we're always eager to explore new issues in search. If you're interested in our optimisation sessions head over to our website to find out more!


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