Display Google’s Websites in the Language You Prefer

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Google uses geotargeting based on the public IP address of your computer to display content for you. It means that if you access Google’s websites from, let’s say, Germany, then Google will automatically display their content in German for you. This might not be preferred by everyone, though.

What will you learn in this post?

I will show you:

  • how to change the language of displayed content through your Google Account
  • how to change the language of displayed content through URL parameters
  • how to change both the language of content and the location-based content being displayed
  • where to read up on Google’s other URL parameters

Change Language Through Your Google Account

To change the language of Google Store, YouTube, and other Google websites, log in to your Google account.

In your Google Account preferences, select Language & Input Tools.

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Google Account preferences

And within the Language & Input Tools section, select the Language you prefer Google display your content.

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Google Account preferences > Language & Input Tools

Now, as long as you visit Google’s websites while logged into your Google account, all content will be displayed in the correct language.

Change Language Without Google Account

But what if you don’t have a Google account? Or what if you have one but don’t wish to log into it all the time?

Ordinarily, Google will display your content in the language used in the geographical area linked in Google’s database to your IP address.

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Google Play content in Slovak

The solution to changing the language is rather simple. Use a language specifying parameter in your URLs, such as this:

In the above examples, the pages will be displayed in English.

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Google Play content in English

Now, let’s say that you are browsing from Germany and you type in youtube.com/?hl=en.

What happens is that Google gives you a choice:

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YouTube in German with English language option

You can click on the English (US) language preference link in the blue box and change the content language from German to English.

Similarly, you are given a choice when going directly to google.de, too.

German Google with English language option

German Google with English language option

Change Both Language and Location

Google differentiates what it displays to different people. People coming from the US get served different content than people coming from Germany. Simply changing the language doesn’t change the content being served.

To change both the language and the location-based content being displayed, use the following URL parameters:

In the above examples, you will be served content for US-based customers in the English language.

Google Play content for US-based customers in English

Google Play content for US-based customers in English

Google URL Parameters

You can play around much more with Google URL parameters.

Here is a complete list of all language codes (both web interface language and search result language) you can use with Google.

For a long list of Google search parameters, crack open the The Ultimate Guide to the Google Search Parameters.

Obviously, there is no complete list of all Google parameters available. The parameters are Google’s know-how and they are not going to reveal their meaning publicly.

Also, Google’s URL parameters change over the course of years, so it’s not too easy to keep track of them all.

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