Google Personalized Search – What Is It? (& How To Avoid It)

Google personalized search – there’s a good chance that you’re being affected by this search function but have no idea what it is. Fear not! This blog post will tell you how to get around this issue.

Let’s start with a brief history lesson.

Google Personalized Search

In the Beginning

In 2005, Google made a personalised search function available to its account members. This was introduced in order to allow users to find more relevant search results based on their search history. This was an alternative option to making normal searches.

Later that year, personalised search merged with the standard search mechanism but this only affected those with Google accounts. In 2009, this function became an automatic procedure for everybody who uses Google.

Web experts pinpointed the pros and cons of this operation. If you are a technology enthusiast, it would be convenient for to find computers rather than a demolished football stadium when you search for ‘dell’, but the things that you have previously looked for would restrict the results of your search. This decreases the effectiveness of search engine optimisation.

How does this affect me?

Whether you have a Google account or not, personalised search will generate results based on your previous searches. If you do have an account, results will also be generated based on your date of birth, employment and geographical location.

To increase the chances of coming across new resources every time you search for something, there are several ways of de-personalising the search function. Some methods are more effective than others, but here’s a list of the easiest ways to claim back search freedom:

  • Make use of web proxies. To find out more about what these are along with links to free services, click here.
  • Turn off personalised results. This will deactivate personalised results for as long as you like. It should be noted that you must have a Google account to operate this function. Go to ‘search settings’, scroll down to ‘search history’ and click ‘no thanks’.
  • Delete cookies. This will clear all of your previous search history. To learn how to do this on your browser, click here.

Do you know of any other ways of escaping Google’s personalised search? Or any other tips on privacy – share your thoughts below!

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