Question: Is it smart to change your Google location to try to search for other ideas from other areas of the country instead of say “Chicago”
Answer: I would not try to deceive Google, on location. That’s not a good idea. What you should do is make sure that in Webmaster Tools, you clearly indicate your country. Make sure your host is in the country you target (rarely a problem in the USA, often a problem in Canada). Then, create geographic landing pages for cities / towns you target and make sure that your physical address is on every page of your site, especially the home page, and cross-link your home page to your Google Places accounts. VERY IMPORTANT in terms of local SEO is to send out these ‘signals’ that help Google identify where your business truly is.
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