How to Turn Off Google Search Plus Your World - gHacks Tech News

How to Turn Off Google Search Plus Your World

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.

google search plus your world

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.

search suggestions

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.

Log out before running searches on Google or use another search engine like Bing, Duck Duck Go or Ixquick.

Personal results can also be turned off in the Search settings. Click on the options button and select Search Settings there.

search settings

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 search personal results

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 though


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  1. Roman ShaRP said on January 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

    > “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.”

    I agree, so I disabled them too.

    In fact Google with all its tuning does more annoying than good too me.

    When I look for some motheboard/netbook/phone model, I _don’t_ want to see any shop offerings (especially local). I want to see it’s technical specifications (and better English ones – I don’t trust local sellers data accuracy and quality).

    When I look for some book, data, definition, usually I don’t wont local data too.

    So, I have to constantly battle with Google strategy to make it show me data I want, not the data they want me to see.

  2. SuilAmhain said on January 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Thank for the steps but I don’t have the switch off option!!!
    I checked in Opera and Firefox 9. This is going to be annoying.

    DuckDUckGo is fine but the local focus for Ireland is not so great.
    Bing just doesn’t return what I expect to see
    I’ll try Ixquick for a look.


  3. Transcontinental said on January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I now login to my Google account only when I need to use Google services that require it. If so I switch (via ‘CSLite Mod’ Firefox add-on) cookies to allow all, do what I have to do with the Google service, then remove Google cookies, switch cookies to forbid all (except per-site exceptions), and continue, quietly, my session. Google is not in my cookie exceptions, because I was fed up having a Google cookie initiated and/or incremented every time I would visit one of the so-said 25% of websites that call Google for this or for that. Even not being logged-in to my Google account, I dislike Google sticking around every one of my moves.
    This said, I enjoy Google applications, but the company has, IMO, to be a minimum controlled. Anyway, they still can track, like others, with IP, since I’m an old-fashioned guy who does not use proxies …

  4. Robert Palmar said on January 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I disabled Personal results in settings.

    The question I have is since I have had Web History disabled
    for a long time was this new “feature” a way to permit a
    new database of history despite the disabling.

    Bottom line this is a feature that benefits Google more than users.
    The stealth manner in which Google launched it is troubling.

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