If you are one of the 350 million people in the world who use the Firefox web browser then you may come across a slight problem. If you wish to check the position of your website within Google’s search results then you will undoubtedly find that Firefox very helpfully redirects whatever Google address you type into the address bar to the local version of the search engine.
So, for example, if you type in Google.com, and press enter, without any warning, notification or option you are swiftly taken to Google.co.uk. If you happen to have popped across the Channel, then if you type in Google.com you will promptly be taken to Google.fr.
Whilst this may be useful for you to find local businesses and local information, it is less useful if you want to check the position and ranking of your website within the main Google.com listings. So how do you either force Firefox to take you to Google.com no matter where in the world you are, or even set your homepage to Google.com rather than a country specific version of the search engine?
The answer is actually very simple. Simply type in www.google.com/ncr. The letters NCE stand for No Country Redirect, and in fact can be used with any Google domain extension. So if you happen to be in the US and you want to check your rankings within the UK version of Google’s search results, then simply type in www.google.co.uk/ncr.
Of course you can then use this as your homepage if you want. With Firefox you could even have multiple tabs, one for Google.com and another for Google.co.uk. Once you know how to force Firefox to point you to the right version of Google, it becomes very easy to monitor your Google ranking positions more accurately.