Google Offers personalized search results for all

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Saturday, December 5, 2009

A day after Yahoo and Microsoft finalized their search partnership, Google announced its intention to deliver personalized search results even to those searching its site without having signed into a Google account. The search engine major was quick to react to the situation. Google would track history of the users by an anonymous cookie would stay on your computer for 180 days. It is an anonymous cookie in the browser to track your search queries and results you most frequently click on. This was offered only for those Google accounts that came up with customized search results based on history. Now even those without Google accounts will have access to tailored results based on a history of search activity. The searches results would be based on the person’s profile.

Based on the past searches of any profile Google would analyze the pattern of advertising that person would favor. This will allow Google to place targeted, high-priced ads besides the search results. As this would be an opt-out service the privacy settings would be put off. Earlier, customized search results were only available to those who signed into Google account.  Google had stores the search history of any person who visits the site, but it never changed individual search results based on that history.

For those uncomfortable with Google’s personalized results might permanently opt out of the arrangement.  Interestingly, there was no way for users or others to view the saved search records on Google. There is no clue who specifically is attached to a given set of search queries.

The question is whether Google’s new strategy will breach your privacy.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. said “The key point is that Google is now tracking users of search who have specifically chosen not to log in to a Google account,” He added that Google was obliterating one of the few remaining privacy safeguards for Google services.

Google will reward the sites you like and that would eventually mean that you’ll will see those results you like. Will that mean that a hard hat will only see the conservative web sites and those on liberal side would have liberal search results? We Google made no disclosures about the percentage of results a typical searcher gets that would be personalized. What’s more annoying they won’t  provide percentage of the results themselves that are changed. It’s not clear what percentage of the links are personalized.

Most of you might object the recording of your searches when you are not logged in. There are certain things you need to know

  • What you need to know is all the major searches engines record your searches. Google will be using it to refine your results and show ads.
  • Only the browser you use will record your searches
  • You have the choice to can opt-out of it

How to opt out of the search recording

To opt out of search recording follow the steps


Step 1: Go to the Web History

Step 2: This is effectively a default notification that results are being logged for personalization.

Step 3: Click on it to open the notification page.

Step 4:Click on the disable customizations based on search activity

With the new addition, even those searching on Google without being logged in can now be used to help Google improve the targeting of its search results and its ads.

December 8, 2009: 8:36 am

Opted Out! and changed my default SE to Bing and uninstalled the Google Tool Bar - I’ve had enough.
This totally undermines the whole purpose of Organic and Natural search. I want to see different sites when I search, I don’t always want the same or localised results - and If I did I would bookmark them or sign into Google.
I shall be seriously protesting about this nonsense change which obvioulsy hasnt been thought through.

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