Google Search gets Personal (option)

Martin Brinkmann
May 28, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Google

Google launched a new Google Search feature recently that makes search even more personal than it already is with a new personal option.

Google introduced the filter bubble years ago which delivers news to search users that the company believes users wants. What this means is that you are more likely to get results and information that you'd agree and interact with, than those that you don't.

While that is good at times as it puts the focus on topics that you are likely more interested in, it is making it difficult to break out of the bubble to form an educated opinion about a particular subject.

Google Personal

google personal search

Personal is a new option of Google Search that is not integrated directly in the algorithm that determines which search results are returned to users when they run searches on Google.

It is a new option under the more link instead which you can load. Please note that personal is only an option there if you are signed in to a Google account, and that the new feature won't work yet for Google Apps customers.

Google Personal

If you are not, you don't get that option. The reason for that is simple: It searches Gmail data, and maybe also other account related data, and returns results based on that.

I could not get the feature to return anything though when I tried to use it. Even simple searches for Linux or known file attachments or subjects on Gmail did not return a result.

Others reported that email messages and photos were returned to them when they ran searches under Personal.

Closing Words

Google's new Personal option on Google Search returns specific account data. It is unclear right now whether it is limited to Gmail and Google Photos, or if it pulls data from Google Drive and other Google services as well. If it is the first, it is nothing more than a basic copy of Gmail Search built right into Google Search with an added photos search component.

I don't think that is particularly useful in this case. If you could get results from multiple Google services on the other hand, it could prove more useful to some users, especially those invested heavily in Google's ecosystem.

Now You: What's your first impression of Google Search Personal?

Google Search gets Personal (option)
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Google Search gets Personal (option)
Google launched a new Google Search feature recently that makes search even more personal than it already is with a new personal option.
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  1. Jack said on April 9, 2019 at 11:25 am

    I don’t have the “Personal” option under the “More” menu. Only Maps, Books & Flights.

  2. Seleman Maamud said on July 12, 2017 at 9:28 pm
  3. bruno said on May 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    The “filter bubble” is overrated IMO. Just try to compare a search in incognito and see whether you’ll get vastly different results. For a research see: (section Popping the filter bubble).

  4. Tom Hawack said on May 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting opportunity to compare the meanings of “personal” and “private”. No doubt that this new “personal” Google search is in total contradiction with privacy or rather (because it illustrates a context rather than creating it) is relevant of one’s privacy held by an entity which is neither a family member nor a friend nor even a relative.

    What an odd world. Having everything one performs in a connected dimension be recorded, digested, analyzed and then spit as a cow’s milk, nectar of a life. I do hope we’ll always be more than a sum of equations, unpredictable so to say.

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