While testing a new userscript for Google I noticed that the company once again had changed search on their site. I was greeted with a "Welcome to Search plus Your World" phrase at the top which takes search results personalization a step further. When you are logged in your Google account you will get personal results in the search results that may include photos from you and your friends, Google+ content if you are a Google+ user, Google+ profiles in search and related people and pages. Take a look at how the results look for the term Facebook.
You get information about the number of personal results integrated in the search results on top. The right displays Google+ profiles from Facebook employees, and below the Facebook site listing is the first personalized entry that was moved up there.
If you look closer you will realize that almost everything that has been added is related to Google+. The personalized results are taken from Google+, the people and pages listing is taken from that site as well, as are the personal results as they are based on what your Google+ friends have "liked" in the past.
You may also notice that search suggestions will now display Google+ names directly in the window.
All personalized results are highlighted with a blue icon in front of the page title. You can turn off Search plus Your World with a click on the Hide personal results button. There are other options that you can make use of if you thing that personalized search has gone to far.
Personal results can also be turned off in the Search settings. Click on the options button and select Search Settings there.
Locate Personal results on the new screen and switch from "use personal results" to "do not use personal results". Click on the save button afterwards.
Google is starting to promote their Google+ service heavily with the integration of results from that social networking service in the results.
Why I do not like it? I think that the majority of information added by personalized results are not telling me anything that I do not already know. And pages favored by friends are not necessarily better than other pages. Say you search for movies to watch on Google, and one of the first results is a personalized result where several of your female friends have voted for the movie Twilight. Does that mean that you will like the movie as well?
You now have to think about the people who voted for the result to make a decision whether this search result is helping you out or not.
Another issue that I have with person.lized search is that I always feel that the search engine is holding back on me. Instead of displaying the "real" results, it displays crippled results on the first page.
I personally have disabled Google Search plus your World right away. What about you? On a related note, all Google Search pages are now making use of HTTPS by default. You can still switch to HTTP search manually thoughAdvertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.