For a long time I've been not happy with the behavior of Google in the cases below, and after accidentally noting that 80+ other people feel the same way (and 20+ people upvote the idea of Google bug report) I thought it's useful to tap into SO's wisdom on HTTP protocols and the web culture.
This behavior appears every time I go to a different country and access
google.com from my laptop or install a new browser. In many countries, including Vietnam, google automatically redirects to a localized version (e.g. google.com.vn), the one I can't actually read so I scan it in a desperate attempt to find Google.com in English link.
The first time it happened I was puzzled and spent some time finding out what could be wrong with my request headers; as I expected, my
Accept-Language is always
en-US or something like
en-US,ru;q=0.5. Further tests with different IPs confirmed that they do IP geolocation, even when you are logged in. Later I learned there is a language query
?hl=..., but still.
So, my question would be: do you think this is reasonable and expected behavior, webculture-wise? Do other sites do it too? If you were to design a multilanguage site what would you do with a person who comes from
.vn IP but with
I imagine there are different approaches to IP geolocation:
contra: I think this is impolite: I tell you explicitly what I want,
what's good about giving me something else?
pro: It could be that a person has just installed browser with the default language pack, without any idea about
Accept-*headers, and still would prefer to see localized version of a website.
contra: And yet, non-techie people can easily change accept-language by installing a language pack. In fact, if you go to download Firefox, chances are you'll download the one in the language you want, with the accept-language header that respects your wishes.
I believe this question belongs to SO as a web-app design question. And I'm still thinking about filing a formal bug report (if I am correct that this behavior is far from web standards).