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April 02, 2010

Google Personalized Search Irritating

I do a lot of searches on Google and it is important to me that I am able to search without having my results customized by Google. I have recently learned how much Google actually does customize your searches, and I thought you might like to know too.

First of all, Google might customize your search results based on your past search activity. They track both what you have searched for in the past, and what search results you have clicked on. Now, the interesting part is that even if you sign out of your Google account, what you are searching for is still being tracked.

When you are signed out of your Google account, Google will still track all searches made with your computer's web browser. A log of what you have clicked on is also kept. This information is then used to provide customized search results. I am not a big fan of this. For example, if you do the same search on two different computers, you may get results that are quite different. What about privacy issues? If someone else is borrowing my computer to do a search, they might get results tailored to me. Not sure if this is a big deal or not, but I don't find the idea very appealing.

When you are signed in to your Google account, everything you search and click on is linked to your web history in your account. Google have been doing this for a long time, and up until now, I have thought that signing out of one's Google account will provide unbiased search results. I was wrong.

How do you disable these search personalization features? It's not too hard to do, so follow this link and learn more about how to turn off personalization at http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/answer.py?answer=54048.

This personalization tactic is making it harder for me to know how I am doing in search engines for certain key words. I guess I'm just one of those people who do not want any kind search personalization from a search engine.

I think search personalization as it currently is working with Google is one of the biggest changes Google has ever made, in terms of how much their search technology will affect people. Still, I don't think many people are even aware of this, and I'm wondering why this have gone so far under the radar. I think it's a huge deal!

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on April 02, 2010

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