User Location and Understanding the Query

Every query has a locale. Some queries also have information about where the user is located: the user location. The user location is always inside the locale and is usually a city.
Sometimes the user location can change our interpretation of the query or our understanding of user intent.

For users in Sunnyvale, California, the query [turmeric] could have two different interpretations: a popular restaurant named Turmeric or the spice turmeric.

In most other user locations, there is no restaurant (or anything else) named Turmeric. In most user locations, there is just one interpretation of the query [turmeric]: the spice. Even with no user location, we will assume that the dominant interpretation of [turmeric] is the spice. The Sunnyvale restaurant is not well known outside of Sunnyvale, California.

For many or most queries, the user location does not change our understanding of the query. Here are some examples:

• [facebook]

• [pictures of kittens]

• [how many miles between the earth and the moon]

• [reviews of hd tv]

• [yahoo mail]

• [Chinese restaurants]

• [pizza]

• [Citibank]

When is the user location important in understanding query interpretation and user intent? Sometimes or rarely-- it depends on the query. Please use both web research and your personal judgment to answer this question. Ask yourself, "Would users in one city be looking for something different than users in another?" For many queries,

the answer to that question is “no.”

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