Google effectively ends objective searches

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 30 00:05:48 UTC 2011

I've just found out (how far behind am I?) that Google Search no longer
offers "See the results of this search without customization based on your
search history".

I've entered the following comment in a Google Forum

I am a researcher and I need reproducible results. Used to be, I could click
to see "Results without personalization based on your web history". I could
post something based on what I found, and my colleagues could do the same
search and get the same results (plus whatever changes might have occurred
between my search and theirs).

Now you have made it, in practice, impossible to get an objective,
decustomized search<>


> Google sometimes customizes your search results based on your past search
> activity on Google. This customization includes searches you've done and
> results you've clicked. Since personalized search treats signed-in and
> signed-out users differently, the instructions for turning off search
> history personalization are a little different in each case.
> Signed in searches
> To disable history-based search customizations while signed in, you'll need
> to remove Web History from your Google Account. You can also choose to
> remove individual items. Note that removing this service deletes all your
> old searches from Web History.
> Signed out searches
> If you aren't signed in to a Google Account, your search experience will be
> customized based on past search information linked to a cookie on your
> browser. To disable these types of customizations, follow these steps:
>    1. In the top right corner of the search results page, click the gear
> icon gear icon, then select Web History.
>    2. On the resulting page, click Disable customizations based on search
> activity.(Because this preference is stored in a cookie, it'll affect anyone
> else who uses the same browser and computer as you).
> Or, if you'd rather just delete the current cookie storing searches from
> your browser and start fresh, clear your browser's cookies.
> Note: If you've disabled search customizations, you'll need to disable it
> again after clearing your browser cookies; clearing your Google cookie turns
> on history-based customizations.

And I'd have to do this EVERY TIME I wanted an objective search. Meanwhile
I'd be unable to have a custom search, which is also useful. (Except, of
course, for a search miscustomized to only what I've seen since the last
time I ran through all that.)

See also this help forum
another user, who has evidently seen the same Pariser post on "filter
that a friend just sent to me.


m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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