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How to Disable Google Personalized Search  (View post)

Ratatosk [PersonRank 1]

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
13 years ago9,152 views

have you ever tested wheter results got more relevant to you or not?

I mean, it's so obvious how you can turn it off.... I would rather hear people's experience with it.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It's hard for me to tell, I never know what it actually does...

Utills [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

That could be an idea for a script that performs a non-personalised search every time a personalised search is made in the background. Over time the top ten results could be compared and thereby you would know what makes a difference.

On that note, something you said about the "past" got me thinking. Does that mean all your search data effectively gets reset so Google deletes all search associated data about you?

Digging deeper Google says:

"If you remove items, they will be removed from the service and will not be used to improve your search results. As is common practice in the industry, Google also maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users." [ google.com/psearch/privacyfaq. ...]

That doesn't really answer the question since they could still keep the associated data (i.e. use the data to present relevant ads to a specific user) and not use it for search directly.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I've seem personalized results before where it seemed to have more local results towards the top – like it was just adding my location to the query or something. (Whether it did this by geolocating me or whether it was because I'd searched for things in my region before, I don't know...)

Utills, I guess you'd have to delete the service and add it again to test whether your search history came back and / or your search results were personalized.

SirNuke [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I never realized what the personalized search did. After turning it off, I think my results are considerably more relevant with personalized search off than on, even after apparently several years of using the service. Ouch.

This might be because I tend to bookmark items if I want to ever visit again, so when I'm searching I'm usually looking for things that I have not already visited. I'd imagine this is something that personalized search contradicts.

Adam Lasnik [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

Hey y'all,

Just an fyi: Even if you turn off the personalized search feature in your account, you should not expect to receive the exact results a friend does for the same query. Here's why:
- Algorithmic shifts, especially minor ones, occur frequently and can affect what sites are listed for a given query (and their order)
- Regional adjustments are common; someone in France is *not* going to see the same results in their searches as someone searching on the same query from Argentina.

Judith Littl [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Google, as a search engine or whatever sucks
I never find anything I want or need to find. I will gladly take it off my favorites list.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Judith: What do you use, then? MSN? Or do you prefer the good old days when you searched for information through directories?

Jack Hynes [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

I like Personalised Search because I do search for the same things twice, as bookmarking everything you visit creates too much maintenance work. I like that after each result you have clicked on it tells you a time and date as a reference to help you find what you were looking for.

I'm also not sure it has done anything to influence my results – they seem the same after two years. But it does help me go back to things that my browser history has deleted.

Sascha Böge [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

In germany there is a strange message after I disabled the Personalized Search.

"Thanks that you test the personalisierte search. We would be pleased about feedback of you, in order to be able to improve the product further." (google translate)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Adam:
> Regional adjustments are common; someone in France
> is *not* going to see the same results in their searches
> as someone searching on the same query from Argentina.

For that reason I always go to Google.com, never Google.de.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<< For that reason I always go to Google.com, never Google.de. >>

I'm not sure that's reliable. If I access Google.com in the UK, I sometimes get different results to accessing Google.com in the USA.

Adam, does adding the gl=us parameter make any difference? It seems to...

Jack Hynes [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

I just signed out to see if the results were any different when I searched my name. My personal site moved up the listings when I signed out from 5th to 4th. I thought it was a bit strange considering I visited my site twice recently and none of the others.

Danny Sullivan [PersonRank 2]

13 years ago #

I've found it has often help results. It's a pretty nice feature, in my book.

Prof. Goose [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

apparently Google got wise. they turned off the page!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

OK, that's weird.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<<apparently Google got wise. they turned off the page!>>

Not true. You must be logged in, I guess.

In fact, there's a very easy path to disable the service:

google.com > my account > edit (next to My Services) > Delete Personalized Search

Daniele Gewurz [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Hello, this is my first comment here. Just lurking till now, I'm afraid...

Was this already mentioned? I am getting (from google.com) a "Turn OFF Personalized Search (Beta) for these results »" link, but not always. Perhaps it appears only for searches in which there is a difference between personalized and standard?

I doubt this is easy to reproduce, but I got it (among others) searching "mamma" (being an Italian), and the personalized search put in higher positions results about "Mamma Roma" (film by Fellini) and lowers a restaurant in Boston, for instance.

Bast Ravenshadow [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Philipp Lenssen wrote: In fact, there's a very easy path to disable the service:

google.com > my account > edit (next to My Services) > Delete Personalized Search

++++

Doesn't work. There is no 'delete personalized search'. All I see is:

Delete A Service > Close GMail Account

Close Account > Close account and all services associated with it.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<<Philipp Lenssen wrote...>>

Well, other person said that.

You should find the "Delete Personalized Search" link if you've enabled the service.


img263.imageshack.us/img263/77 ...

mift [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

This is what I got, today:

>The page you requested is invalid.

Chris Burbridge [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

It worked for me to turn it off.

I would think this would be rather a great thing to know about if you're a web developer trying to do search engine optimization, becauase you don't want to know what it looks like for you, but for the average person.

Charlie Summers [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I find it interesting that everyone seems to think that turning off personalized search somehow "deletes" your information from Google. Just because they no longer use it to display results doesn't mean they aren't continuing to maintain the data.

Me, I'll stick to not having a Google account and using Google Scraper or proxies to protect my privacy. Problem gone.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> I find it interesting that everyone seems to think
> that turning off personalized search somehow
> "deletes" your information from Google.

Charlie, neither the post nor anyone in this thread indicated that this would be the case. So maybe "everyone" is a bit too broad.

That being said, yeah, I'm sure some people think turning off the search history would somehow make Google turn off their search history :)

Pete Cogan [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

When I click on the link you provide to Turn Off Personalized Search, I get a page on Google that says "The page you requested is invalid." Has the service to turn off this feature been discontinued, or it just a bad URL?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

(The URL stayed the same, though Google might have added a referrer check to prevent direct links – I added an update to the post now)

Steve Stair [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

When I go to My Account, and click on the edit link next to My Services, I don't get an option to disable this service. I only get the following:

Delete a Service
   Delete Gmail Service
   Delete Browser Sync

Close Account
   Close account and delete all services and info associated with it

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Steve, you will only see that option if you did enable personalized search before...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The link (www.google.com/accounts/Delete ...) still works for me.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It's on and off for me – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe based on some cookie? Dunno.

Larry Wagenman [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

What do people do to not have their personal info shown on search?
Say entering John Jones in search

Surprised [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Huh? You guys browse Google while logged in? That's your problem right there.

graywolf [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I'd like to keep my search history for myself, but turn off personalized, isn't a logical reason I can't have that option.

BUGabundo [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

Both links work for me.

method77 [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Google does not work for me anymore. Any ideas?

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