• http://www.linux-girl.com Asia

    I’m as big a fan of Personalized Search as I am on how Typekey refuses to keep me logged in for 2 weeks on this site, despite my request to do so /sarcasm

    I love google, each time I attempt a search on Yahoo I love google even more – Personalized search I’m not very happy with, however. It was just a few weeks ago when it was imposed on me without my consent, it was very disturbing, because I felt limited. I don’t want a search engine to decide what I would love to see – I prefer a search engine to do their job and provide me relevant websites which I can select from whether it’s page 2 or 3 not one that imposes #2 just because I clicked that url.

    My whole experience with Google’s Personalized search was frustrating. I run searches every day of my life, many times these searches are repeated, often times, it’s because the last site that I got off the SERP didn’t help with what I needed. What was really bad, is that they sent me more of the crap that I didn’t want.

    The really obnoxious thing about it, is that regardless of what I searched for and what I clicked on – I still received the same Google Authority site as #1 – I never clicked that site, therefore it’s not something I want, so why keep giving it to me?

    I finally turned off Personalized Search or as I term “Google’s Personal Search but not mine” and now back to normal SERPs and quite happy with it.

    Limiting the web – such a great idea. Not!

  • http://www.wolf-howl.com graywolf

    >In short, it lessens the resistance to personalized search and builds acceptance for future innovations around personalization.

    Sounds a lot like “we did an awfully good job hiding the fact that we’re serving you the google kool aid. In time you’ll even like it so much more you’ll wonder how you got along without it, can we top off your drink sir …”

  • http://blog.outer-court.com Philipp Lenssen

    So, can you turn off personalized search results if you want to stay logged in?

  • http://www.linux-girl.com Asia

    Phillipp: Google Blogoscoped covered this, here’s the url


    Hopefully I don’t get in trouble for that!

  • http://blog.outer-court.com Philipp Lenssen

    Asia, thanks, but that was before Google’s changes to personalization. Now, the situation has changed. I just asked Google: “is there a way to turn off personalized search results if I want to remain logged in to my Google Account?” and they answer:

    “No, you must sign out to turn off personalized search.”

    So, I understood Marissa above right. Sucks though, I dislike personalized web search results.

  • graywolf

    To turn it off you have to delete search history, another example of making it harder to opt out than opt in and adding friction to the process


    If you aren’t logged in or have already turned it off the link won’t do anything, and show an invalid request response, nothing like a helpful error message.

  • http://www.solaswebdesign.net Miriam


    Don’t like it. I really appreciate this article, but I really don’t like this, inevitable though it may be.

    Has anyone done any testing yet that shows that personalized search is truthfully not being reflected in SERPs when logged out of any Google account items? I would like to know if anyone is collecting actual data on this. I know the official statement is that this is only altering SERPs when logged in, but is that true?


  • http://www.linux-girl.com Asia

    Phillipp: Sorry! Apparently I disliked Personalized Search so much, I got rid of it as soon as I could. Graywolf to the rescue – He always has the solution.

    I am now even more disappointed in this search personalization, with knowledge that they make it more difficult to avoid.

    Miriam: I notice no change when logged in or out of Google and I have personalization turned off. I also utilize a chain of IM’s to assist with confirmation on google rankings and they seem to be pretty solid throughout. I haven’t seen any difference in SERP’s outside of the normal data refresh regional hiccups and delays.

  • http://ekstreme.com/thingsofsorts/ pierrefar

    Google is promising personalization is better for the user, but the way they are implementing it is shady at best: hiding the fact you’re signed in in an obscure corner of the screen, making it hard to opt-out, removing any signs on the page that the results are personalized, etc.

    Here is a suggestion: Right below the search box, have this message appear in big bold letters: “Whatever you’re about to search for will be stored in our database and will be used to track your behaviour and influence the results (and ads) you see. If you don’t want this, please sign out.”. Now track how many people sign out.

    In short: communicate it better with the people who don’t read the Google blog, with the people who don’t know who Marissa Mayer is, with the people who have no idea what spam is, and with the people that actually click the ads that are Google’s bread and butter. Google is pulling a fast one on all these users, and they are oblivious to it happening. Imagine if they found out and got really angry…