The Experience provides a “search by city”, “search by state”, and “search by country” feature. This search form element, when enabled, will build a drop down list based on the locations in your database. This is meant to provide a hint to the user where your locations are.
The legacy system was a simple “address input” feature. When a user selected an entry from the drop down list it types the text into the address box. When the user clicks the search button it looks for locations closest to that location based on your other search form settings. If your default radius is 100 miles and the user selects the state of Texas, this system will search for all locations within 100 miles of Google’s estimated “center of Texas”.
Why Search By Radius?
The design of the search is based on the premise that most people that are searching for something don’t care what state (where) your store is located. They only care that it is 3 miles away not 30 miles away.
I understand this is not a perfect solution for everyone. Sometimes you need to refer someone to the proper sales agent based on sales territories which are typically based on state/city/country. Discrete search can help with that, however territory support is not part of the basic Search add-on unless your territories are divided by city, state, or country alone. Directory Builder add-on can be used for territory search of that nature if no Map is included. Territories is now included in the Premier Add-on