It is very likely that when you key in google.com to your browser, the page is redirected you to the localized Google page of the country where your IP is detected. Oh yeah, unless you’re in the US.
Enjoy this? Localization exists with the hope to bring you more relevant contents.
But what if you want the international or original version of the website?
At least I do.
- Because many terminologies when translated are difficult to understand.
- Because I want international contents.
- Because my browser may not display the localized language correctly by default.
- Or because I don’t understand the language on the localized page!
When I logged in to YouTube today, it redirected me to YouTube Taiwan tw.youtube.com! What? I am not Taiwanese. I speak a little Chinese but I wouldn’t want to surf web in Chinese. I checked my IP: still the Vietnamese ISP. There must have be some mistake in YouTube server. I hope it won’t last for long.
Then I went to Blogger with my cookies cleared and I had to set the language to English again.
Let’s try cyworld.com. Oh, it redirects me to CyWorld Vietnam cyworld.vn
Thanks goodness, Yahoo!, while hosting a Yahoo! Vietnam portal, doesn’t automatically redirect me to the localized page by default.
For Google, this command google.com/ncr brings you to the US version of Google.
For YouTube, I had to go to YouTube UK uk.youtube.com, a page with a language I understand.
I checked CyWord Korea out too by guessing the domain cyworld.co.kr. Ah ha, my guess was correct.
So what then?
Web service providers, I understand that localization is very likely to expand your market. However, not all users want a localized version. Please give your users the option to choose to go to the international version of your page. And when you do, please make it simple like Google did with a command.