Morning horror: I type google.com into the URL field of my browser and get a Norwegian version! Google has started to forceably redirect anyone who goes to google.com while in Norway to their new Norwegian site: google.no.

They did this in Australia two years ago, and I hated it. How dare they assume that they know what I want! I’m perfectly capable of typing in google.no if I really want the Norwegian version. How about trusting that if I type google.com I actually WANT the .com version?

Thank goodness, after a few minutes, I find a “Google in English” link, click it, and they reset my cookies so that from here on I get google.com when I type google.com – with a persistent link to “Google in Norwegian”. I suppose that’s OK. Maybe even helpful. I found no such out from the Australian Google two years ago. But you know, I’m a nomad, I don’t want localisation. I want to be able to travel and know that the web will look the same from whereever I am.

10 thoughts on “don’t localise me

  1. Tore Vesterby

    “You might as vell tell uz everizing. Vi know vere you live!”

    On a more serious note, this is why I like the Google bar at the top of my Firefox. Crtl+K and a search and I’m getting strings via Google.com and not Google.dk, and if I click on their logo I get the English version. Hoorah!

    It’s even wierder sitting on a Dansih OS installing an English program and getting all the Yes, No and Cancel buttons as Ja, Nej, Annuler. It makes me feel less international.

  2. elzapp

    I don’t use the google pages. I use google a lot, but I use it through the searchbox in my Firefox browser. Then I always get to the english google. That also resulted in that when other norwegians had trouble using google, due to a redirection loop (google.com -> google.no -> google.com) I never saw the problem before someone asked me if I had problems with google.

  3. Gideon

    http://www.google.com/ncr

  4. Jill

    Oh, so google.no and the redirect thing isn’t new? I usually use the google box in Firefox too – though I do quite often find myself at the google search page too. Perhaps that’s usually after having used the Firefox box and so I’ve gone to the English version.

    Ah well.

  5. Gina

    Looks like it is new, actually:

    Made in the shade

  6. elzapp

    Yes, its relatively new. The thing was, before Google launched the domain, google.no redirected to google.com. And google.com was updated a few days before google.no, so it redirected you back to google.no, and so it went on….
    google rundt i evig runddans

  7. Lilia

    Google weblog says:

    You’ve probably wondered why there’s never been a Google domain in Norway. As it turns out, our name means “sunglasses” in Norwegian, and, well, even the non-lawyers can see where this sort of problem leads.

    But now the Great Norwegian Sunglasses Crisis is history, and this week we were able to launch Norway and Kenya, our 102nd and 103rd domains, respectively.

    Is it true about sunglasses? If so would be interesting to know what someone without much online experience would think about Google.no šŸ™‚

  8. Lilia

    Forgot closing tag šŸ™‚ Last paragraph is mine and not from Google blog…

  9. Jill

    Google doesn’t mean sunglasses in Norwegian – it doesn’t mean anything. But there used to be a site called google.no that sold sunglasses, according to the article Elzapp linked to:

    Som kjent har Google.com ligget i rettslig konflikt med google.no, som er et nettsted for solbriller. Google fikk medhold i Oslo Tingrett i midten av juli i ?ā€¢r, og det norske selskapet ble d??mt til ?ā€¢ ovberf??re domenet.

    I don’t know the story but would imagine the sunglasses company bought the domain because they figured lots of people would go to google.no rather than because the word has anything to do with sunglasses.

    Fixed your endquotetag, Lilia šŸ™‚

  10. LiL

    This forcible google redirect really pissed me off when I was in Hungary last week. I hadn’t expected that it would – but it really irked me. I think I’m too used to googling in English and thinking my searches through in English and the country-specific page gets in the way of my process. I’d guess it has to do with more effective local advertising – but they could localize advertising without changing the main search interface you access from a given location, couldn’t they? Besides, I could only forgive someone for redirecting me to the Elmer Fudd-ese or Pig Latin or Klingon google pages…

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