Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How to Disable Google Personalized Search

Did you know that every search you perform in Google produces results biased based on your personal search history? You can disable this bias by typing "&pws=0" to the very end of the URL for a given query.

For example, if you go to Google and type in "types of logical evidence" (incidentally, the query for which my short post overviewing types of logical evidence, is served as the #1 result at the moment), the URL for the page containing your search results (SERPS) will be something like: There is a possibility that aside from collecting information about your browser, location, and your unicode format, Google is also biasing your results based on such information. At any rate, I like to keep things clean, so I delete all the unnecessary junk, and make my search URLs like the following: But these results are definitely biased based on my personal search history - Google just doesn't tell me in the URL. To make sure that this biasing is turned off, I add "&pws=0" to the end of the URL, making it:

This would be the URL I would email or link to, if I were to link to the SERPS for such a query. That way I know that the results will look the same, even for someone with a different search history than me, who might otherwise be served with results totally different than the ones I want him, or her, to see.

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