Turning off Google Personalization

By , December 16, 2011 9:44 am

by Robyn Hagle

Most of us know that Google is smart enough to customize or personalize results based on past search activity.  This is true whether you have a Google account or not.  In doing this, Google looks at past searches you’ve done and results you’ve clicked.  This can be useful if the majority of what you do on Google is business or legal related research.  Sometimes I think this helps me get better results (and find what’s actually being asked for) more efficiently than our attorneys.  Google keeps getting smarter the more I use it.

However, many of us have Google accounts that automatically log us in whether we are at home or at work (this is true if you have Gmail, Google Documents, Google Plus, etc. running in the background).  What this means is that if you’re logged into a Google account, Google is tracking ALL of the searches you run at home on your own time, at work for a client, on your smart phone, etc.  Obviously, this could cloud things.

If you’re interested in learning how to turn off Google personalization, visit: Turning off search history personalization.  Think about what this might mean for your search.  I won’t be turning off personalization.  And I’ve opted to not logout of my Google account when performing work on behalf of a client.  To do so at this point, and begin using Google while not logged in, would erase years of legal and business related search history.

On a related note, want to see something crazy?  Have a look at your Google search history.  Now I can be reminded of that awful foreign legislative history project I worked on 11 months ago!

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