How To Stop Google Giving Me Personaly Enhanced Search Results

by carolm
23 replies
I'm using Firefox and would like to know how I can do a Google search for my posts without Google giving me SERPS that show bias towards my own surfing history.

That doesn't give me any useful info on which page my post is really listed on - I get my posts coming up at No 1 page 1 but have been told, that's only because it was me that did the search, and my post isn't really doing that well.

Yeah I know - spoil sport, but... I'd like to know the grim truth, not some fantasy success story that isn't real.

Now I re-read the title of this post it looks a bit sus.... Oh well.
#enhanced #giving #google #personaly #results #search #stop
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by carolm View Post

    I'd like to know the grim truth, not some fantasy success story that isn't real.
    It's based on your browser history, isn't it?

    So simply clearing your browser history before searching should neutralise it? :confused:

    Originally Posted by carolm View Post

    Now I re-read the title of this post it looks a bit sus....
    Not so much. (Except maybe "personaly" could do with another "l" in there?). :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    Yep clear your browser history, this should do the tirck. Firefox will save "cookies" of your previous browsing history.
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  • Profile picture of the author OldLodgeSkins
    Also disconnect from your Google account if you have one.

    Personally though, I have the habit of using a secondary browser for this particular need it's the simplest way...
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    • Profile picture of the author 2ndopkate
      Old Skins,

      What is your alternative browser choice?
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    • Profile picture of the author business5631
      Originally Posted by OldLodgeSkins View Post

      Also disconnect from your Google account if you have one.

      Personally though, I have the habit of using a secondary browser for this particular need it's the simplest way...
      Exactly! I had same issue when my customers would +1 their own pages...they thought I had them on first page after a day or two...ha
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  • Profile picture of the author Prateek Dwivedi
    Apart from clearing your browser history, you can do this too

    Go to
    www.google.com/history and turn your web history off. Also delete all the history entries till now.
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    • Profile picture of the author carolm
      Originally Posted by Prateek Dwivedi View Post

      Apart from clearing your browser history, you can do this too

      Go to
      www.google.com/history and turn your web history off. Also delete all the history entries till now.
      After a bit of research I found that doing this is really the only way to do it for sure. If you go there and see what they've collected on you, it's fascinating to see how Google has been documenting and recording everything I've done on line for years back. There are different stats that you can use to see your data through various filters: e.g. all the times you have clicked on a Sponsored link.

      I also found out from a well known internet/social media person (so I can't direct you to the original Google source), Google announced that from March 2012 it reserves the right to use this information in any way it likes, and this particular cookie is set to run until the year 2035. It's my guess that they will then probably update it.
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  • Profile picture of the author anton433
    I think you could also just use private browsing mode in Firefox or incognito mode in Chrome. Although I'm not 100% sure if it does the trick. Maybe someone can verify?
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
    Another method that works with all browsers (last time I checked) is to simply append the following string to your search URL, after performing your keyword search, to get search results with personalization turned off: &pws=0

    Additionally, if using Google, after clearing my cache and cookies using a free program called CCleaner (about every 2-3 days) I also change the location that Google search defaults to (see the left side of the SERPS page) - generally it will default to their most local node (for lack of a better word) and because I do so much searching thru that node it seems to store that and give me false positives on SERP positions - I simply choose a random city and state each time so my searches are never going to add up in any one location.
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    I found that result is different most of the time when you are logged in to when you are not. Clearing history and searching without log in can give you a better result.
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    • Profile picture of the author CJEmerson
      If you're signed into your google account, you'll see a person icon and a globe icon in the top right of the search results. If it's not already ticked, click the globe icon to hide personal results. Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author ashloren
    If you're logged into your Google/Gmail account when performing searches, it's going to affect the results in the way you described and it will base it off of your search history (when you've been logged in, that is) and also what is shared within your Google+ circles (if you use that service). I don't know what the browser history would have to do with Google's search results. Why would Google's SERPS be affected by your Firefox browser history? Sorry if I'm being dense, but I'm not sure that those two things are really related.

    Anyhow, simply logging out will allow you to search fresh and should display the TRUE results with accurate rankings. Or, as another person suggested, simply open another browser to do a "fresh" search, if you will. Google Chrome and Firefox are the combo I would recommend if you go that route.
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    Chrome + Incognito mode or Firefox + Private browsing.

    I'm pretty sure that will do the trick.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    So far, the only thing that seems to help at all is incognito or private. Even there, though, location still shows up, so clearly something is "remembered."

    BTW, it doesn't matter whether you have a Google account open or not. I'm a bit of old school paranoid and I generally don't leave accounts open when I surf because I have this niggling feeling that open accounts can spy on you somehow. ['Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.' LOL]

    But this whole this raises a bigger issue.

    Everyone makes a big deal about being #1, #2, on the first page, or whatever, for this keyword or that .. (and lots of products are promoted on that basis too). I stopped taking any of that on face value a long time ago.

    Saying that a site or page appears at #X for keywordY is absolutely meaningless these days. Every single searcher gets a different SERPS result depending on their settings, so how on earth can anyone say where their page is, except on one single isolated search result!

    These days, I only look at SERPS as a general indicator of how well a page is doing for keywords, and never a specific because that's flat out impossible.

    Personally, I think it's about time, we all got a little more saavy about what keywords and SERPS really mean now (not 10 years ago).
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    • Profile picture of the author anton433
      Originally Posted by Wendy Maki View Post

      So far, the only thing that seems to help at all is incognito or private. Even there, though, location still shows up, so clearly something is "remembered."

      BTW, it doesn't matter whether you have a Google account open or not. I'm a bit of old school paranoid and I generally don't leave accounts open when I surf because I have this niggling feeling that open accounts can spy on you somehow. ['Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.' LOL]

      But this whole this raises a bigger issue.

      Everyone makes a big deal about being #1, #2, on the first page, or whatever, for this keyword or that .. (and lots of products are promoted on that basis too). I stopped taking any of that on face value a long time ago.

      Saying that a site or page appears at #X for keywordY is absolutely meaningless these days. Every single searcher gets a different SERPS result depending on their settings, so how on earth can anyone say where their page is, except on one single isolated search result!

      These days, I only look at SERPS as a general indicator of how well a page is doing for keywords, and never a specific because that's flat out impossible.

      Personally, I think it's about time, we all got a little more saavy about what keywords and SERPS really mean now (not 10 years ago).
      Especially when the serps for highly commercial keywords are plastered with paid ad's. Even if you're #1 in organic results you might be something like #10 overall...

      Edit: Also if you look google.com results from outside the US, they look better because many people who use PPC have set their ads to only appear to IPs from the US (and maybe Canada). If you're outside the US and want to see how the google.com results really look like in the US you have to use proxy server and set your IP to be in the US.
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  • Profile picture of the author msu
    Because everyone is seeing personalized results these days - based on history, location, social connections, etc - there's not really any such thing the "true" results any more, so you're looking for something that no longer exists.

    It's frustrating, I hate personalized results.

    What I do now is check my sites using Google Webmaster Tools, which gives me an average result for keywords and tells me whether it's growing or falling - which the main thing I'm interested in.
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    • Profile picture of the author JezWebb
      MSU is on the money. The concept of "rankings" is pretty fuzzy now, with the vast majority of web users seeing personalised results.

      Understandably we need a measure of ranking over time to measure the effectiveness of SEO work, so you can use Google Webmaster tools (and don't forget the recently vastly improved Bing Webmaster tools) The excellent Raven Tools bit.ly/rraventools will do an ongoing ranking check for you, track trends and compare against competitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author faisalmaximus
    Follow the following steps :
    1. Log out from your Google Account.
    2. Clear your cookies and restart the browser.
    3. Use proxies if possible. For cheap proxies you can try this WSO : http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...y-5-month.html
    4. Now check your ranking, and you will not be biased by your browsing history.
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I use Chrome for most internet work (so yes, the big G knows all about me).

    If I want "unbiased" results I use Opera as my main alternative. I NEVER click on links there, so Google doesn't get to know which results it believes I want to see. Also, I don't sign in to Google in Opera. It knows much less about me than Chrome
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  • Profile picture of the author Magicbaby
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author faisalmaximus
      Originally Posted by Magicbaby View Post

      Follow the following steps :
      1. Log out from your Google Account.
      2. Clear your cookies and restart the browser.
      3. Use proxies if possible. For cheap proxies you can try this WSO : 20 Private Proxies at Only $5/month
      4. Now check your ranking, and you will not be biased by your browsing history.


      It's actually valuable.
      Why you copied my message, if this is valuable then show respect to the member who wrote it.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    change your results page to 100

    log out of any google account

    then clear your cookies

    that should sort the problem out

    paul
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