Tag Archives: Musings

Personalized Search – Turn it OFF

by: +Joanne Marcinek

I love Google, I really do. I have and frequently use several of their tools and rely on them for keeping my business and personal life organized. However, as an SEO professional/internet marketer, I find nothing more annoying than having my search results be based on my personal search history.

Now, on their answer page about it, they say you can simply click the setting that says: Disable customizations based on search activity Yet, I cannot find that option anywhere on the page. I also don’t want to delete all my search history (which apparently is another way to do it) because I USE the search history to refer back to websites I’ve found and research I’ve done.

They say you can disable personalized search by signing out of your google account, well yes, that’s true, but it also means you will have signed out of Gmail, calendar, docs, etc. so if you have those pages open a the same time, they will no longer work.

I did find a site that tells you how to disable personalized search by adding a parameter to your search results (&pws=0). He also has instructions on how to do it with several browsers.

So, if you want to see the “real deal” when you are searching and not results based on previous websites you’ve visited, disable personalized search or sign out of your Google account.  I recently found out that via cookies, you still do get some personalized results. The best way to remove that bias is to use a search engine where you have cleared all cookies and temporary internet data and don’t login to any account. Then, do your search. That should give you the best “unbiased” search.