Within the past year, Google has rolled out a new feature – personal search results. This new search feature shows you your personal results, profiles, and people and pages you might be connected to. While this comes in handy sometimes, it isn’t always. We are going to discuss options for how to disable Google personal search results.
If you’re like me, you Google yourself. You want to know where your business ranks in the search engine. It is annoying that your habits on the web skew your search results. Sometimes I love seeing the relevant to me personally results, but it gets in the way of seeing what the rest of the world is seeing. I want a way for my internet and social media activity to not impact the results.
I want to know where my page ranks when YOU search for things.
Sometimes, I don’t want to know what my friends think, Google. (Well, post, actually.)
If you are wondering how to disable Google personal search, you can use any of the options listed below.
If you just want to do it quickly for the search you have just made, you can look in the upper right corner of your search results page for this:
See the two icons? The person represents the option to show personal search results, and the globe is the option to hide them and see global search results.
Simply click the globe, and the personal search results will be hidden from your Google search view.
You know you never ever again want to see the personal search results? You can disable them! Quick and easy. To do this, you would go through your search settings screen.
In the same area where you disabled Google personal search for just one search, you’ll see a gear icon. Clicking this icon will give you a drop down of options like this:
Choose the “Search settings” option, and then on the settings screen choose the “Do not use personal results” option:
If you use the Google Chrome web browser, it offers the option of using an “Incognito Window” for browsing the web. Select the Chrome tool icon on the far right of the browser window, the one that looks like three horizontal lines, and select it. Choose the New Incognito Window option.
The new window will launch with a top menu bar that is a different color, an “incognito man” in the top right corner of the menu bar, and this message:
(“Be wary of … people standing behind you” – cracks me up every time!)
This incognito window is designed to have no access to your browser’s history information. Do not log into your Gmail/Google account. Just head straight to Google and search for your keywords. This is much closer to your real rank.
Yay! Now you can easily search for your keywords without the Google personal search results mucking things up. This will allow you to identify your rankings more easily, giving you the opportunity to make better choices for your website.
None of these methods are really perfect though. SEOMOZ.org did a Face-off – 4 Ways to De-personalize Google, and still found varying results with each method.
People doing searches will also likely still have their personal search results enabled, so their internet activity and social media contacts will impact the results they see when doing searches as well.
UPDATE: Robyn of Paperie Boutique pointed out this fantastic SERP (search engine results page) checker that you can use to see exactly where you rank for a term. Super handy! The results that it showed me for the tests I ran were the same as my global and my incognito tests.
Do you research your keywords? I’d love to hear how you deal with things and Google. Chime in by leaving a comment below! It is a great opportunity for us to have a conversation about it!