With Google’s new +1 button, Google users are able to recommend search results with just the click of a button. When people in your +1 network – which include those in your Gmail & Google Talk chat list, people in your “My Contacts” group in Google Contacts, and people you follow in Google Reader or Google Buzz – recommend a link by clicking on the +1 button, that search result will rank and place higher in a related search. If you are signed into Google, such as to use Gmail, Google already uses your web history to customize search results based on your past search activity on Google. This customization includes searches you’ve done and results you’ve clicked on. When determining these customized results, Google treats signed-in and signed-out users differently.
Google’s personalized search results are, by default, automatically enabled. If you want to use Google’s new +1 feature, you don’t have to do anything to further enable this type of personalized Google Search Results other than enable Google +1 in search results. However, if you don’t ever want Google to return personalized Search Results, you can turn the personalized search results settings off.
If you are signed into Google, here is how to disable search personalization:
- Turn off Web History by first clicking the gear icon at the top of the page.
- Then, select Account settings from the drop-down menu.
- On your account management page, click Edit next to “My products.”
- Finally, click Remove Web History permanently. This will turn off search personalization when signed into Google.
If you are not signed into Google, here is how to disable search personalization:
- In the top right corner of the search results page, click the gear icon, then select Web History.
- On the resulting page, click Disable customizations based on search activity.
- You can also clear your browser’s cookies. If you do this, you’ll need to disable customizations again after clearing your browser cookies, as clearing your Google cookie turns on history-based customizations again.