Why Does Google Personal Search Have to be so Annoying

by | Jul 12, 2012 | Technology & Business, Work and Productivity

Microsoft has invested in Facebook. In fact, technologically, Facebook is quite closely aligned with Microsoft. Why is Microsoft interested? It’s because Facebook has a great deal of personal information on people. And Microsoft can use all that personal information to make its Bing search engine a lot better. Google has a problem with all of this. Search is Google’s primary product – unlike with Microsoft or Facebook. Google really, really needs the kind of personal information that Facebook is able to give Microsoft. What do they do then? They start Google+. And they start Google personal search.

With help from the kind of insights into your behavior that Google gets from your account with Google+, they hope to inform your search queries with better accuracy. That’s why they call it Google Personal search. For now here’s the main question – how do you turn it off?

Ever since Google personal search went online in January, this is the question people have been asking. The thing is, if you are a Google+ member and if you are signed on, Google is going to crowd your search results page with all kinds of strange new entries that it believes you need to look at because now, it knows you.

You’ll see those results at the top, to the right. It makes for a very cluttered user interface, and it’s not very useful.

You could try to turn it off (by clicking on the globe icon), but it’s temporary. The next time you search for something it’s turned on all over again. So how do you turn it off once and for all?

You’ll find the settings for this in Search Settings. It’s the button with the gear wheel that appears at the top and to the right of your Google search page, when you are signed in. Click on it, and you will see the choice that you are after – they call it “Do not use personal results”. You just need to select that. End of story.

Of course, it isn’t really the end of the story. When you turn it off this way, you don’t really turn it off. You just don’t see personal results for now. They’re always waiting in the wings to come back in. The fact that Google has made the Disable feature a hidden one just goes to show how hard they’re willing to push to make this popular.

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