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Seeing Search Results Without the Influence of Past Searches
peterinwa




msg:4427561
 5:41 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is probably a no-brainer, but I couldn't find the answer.

Is there a way to search for a particular string, say within the U.S., but without my previous searches influencing the results.

Thanks, Peter

 

nomis5




msg:4427569
 6:00 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'll be interested to hear what others say about this.

Foe me I use one specific browser with cookies turned off. I have assumed that with cookies turned off for that browser my previous searches will not influence the search results. Looking at the results I get it certainly seems that way but I may well be wrong.

lucy24




msg:4427629
 9:25 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

In order:

Search from a different browser. Search from a different computer. Search from a different IP. Search from a public terminal.

nomis5




msg:4427631
 9:42 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lucy24 - so turning off cookies has no effect? You are advising going to another computer and location instead?

Would love to nail this question absoluetly 100%.

peterinwa




msg:4427635
 9:53 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Honestly, I thought there would be a simple answer and I would feel dumb for asking the question.

The problem with that "solution" is that you can only do it once. For example, I run a forum and I posted a topic asking forum members to run a test search for me. But as I say, they can only do it once else the results might be tainted by their previous searches.

It's reminding me of "Big Brother" from the movie 1984. You can't escape it! LOL

Peter

lets_learn




msg:4427645
 10:09 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Add &pws=0 to your Google search URL.

g1smd




msg:4427652
 10:32 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

The topic is hitting the wider media in recent days... [theatlantic.com...]

gmb21




msg:4427658
 11:34 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

what about the "verbatim" search tool (in the left menu), or the "hide personal results" icon (top right of the search results page)? I'm not sure if those completely remove personalised search results or not.

Play_Bach




msg:4427673
 12:11 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think it's possible to turn it off. Only thing that sort of works for me is to drive across town and use a public computer, much like lucy24 suggests above.

garyr_h




msg:4427687
 1:22 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

1. Use incognito.

2. Use the &pws=0 as lets_learn states.

3. Use a public proxy.

I'd like to hear why or why not any of those three do not work.

Play_Bach




msg:4427695
 1:54 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

> I'd like to hear why or why not any of those three do not work.

Can I turn off location-based customization?

The customization of search results based on location is an important component of a consistent, high-quality search experience. Therefore, we haven't provided a way to turn off location customization, although we've made it easy for you to set your own location or to customize using a general location as broad as the country that matches your local domain.

https://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=179386

lucy24




msg:4427705
 2:34 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

"hide personal results" only removes the absolutely over-the top search results and returns you to the semi-customized results you would otherwise see if you're signed in.

If you've caved in and done the whole Profile-and-Author thing, Personal Results will spit out your own articles with your own picture.* Or, in my case, Leela's picture, but that is neither here nor there. I guess it's supposed to be gratifying; I find it infuriating. And insulting to the intelligence. Well DUH I'd love to see my own stuff filling the first 10 slots-- but I want to see it when some random person in some random location is doing the searching!

Turning off cookies won't prevent g### from noticing that you are using the identical IP and UA that you used yesterday. They just have to run the computer through a few more cycles.


* Remember, they now know who you are. I recently saw the new Privacy Policy described as a "consolidated data mining" policy. Sounds about right.

Play_Bach




msg:4428319
 10:46 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just went across town to a public computer. Keyword search put my site on page two. Then I drove a couple of miles to another public computer and did the same search, put my site on page fifteen. Meanwhile at home if I'm logged in, for the same search my site shows up in the second position on page one and if I'm logged out, tenth position on page one.

g1smd




msg:4428323
 10:56 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Makes a mockery of the "ranking reports" so beloved of some people. I haven't looked at one of those for a long time.

jstover77




msg:4428344
 11:53 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Use Google Chrome in Incognito mode. Don't click on anything, and clear you private data every day regardless. Either way search results can be different depending on where you are located.

jstover77




msg:4428345
 11:58 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

**Forgot to mention. You can change your location on the left side if you want more localized results.

peterinwa




msg:4428354
 12:18 am on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Makes a mockery of the 'ranking reports' so beloved of some people."

That would be me! Been watching them for years. Well, just by doing my own searches.

I do notice a jump in visits when my site moves from page 2 to page 1, or up on page 1.

Since I began this topic, I have resolved the issue another way. My website stats for visitors who found my site with a search show the place my site appeared in their search results. So if I just look at the results for the search string I'm interested in monitoring, I can see where it falls in my visitors' search results.

Of course this only works if the results of the search string are high enough in the results that people actually find my site searching for them.

Peter

nomis5




msg:4428922
 7:06 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Turning off cookies won't prevent g### from noticing that you are using the identical IP and UA that you used yesterday. They just have to run the computer through a few more cycles.


Surely though, if I turn off the internet connection each day (more than each day in my case), when I switch it back on the ip address will be different. Ip adresses are allocated dynamically not normally fixed?

g1smd




msg:4428926
 7:16 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

So presumably, you'll get results influenced by someone elses search history if they used the same browser and version?

And how does this play out in a public library or internet cafe where the user changes every hour or two? Are my results affected by what the previous user was doing?

[edited by: g1smd at 7:56 am (utc) on Mar 14, 2012]

lucy24




msg:4428935
 7:50 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's why I suggest searching from a public terminal. The totality of searches is so random that for the computer, too much information becomes the same thing as no information.

If there are search preferences shared by, say, all Linux users or all Opera users, don't you think the google computer knows about it?

Bluejeans




msg:4428936
 8:21 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Browsing through a proxy? There are a number of sites that let you get to google in whatever country through a proxy and I think this provides "impersonal" results.

FranticFish




msg:4428950
 8:50 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

use a public computer

Surely not? This would be 'tainted' by the searches, results clicked, sites visited and ads clicked of any number of different users?

peterinwa




msg:4429092
 4:21 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

A public computer would also be tainted by local searches.

Play_Bach




msg:4429102
 4:41 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

> A public computer would also be tainted by local searches.

That's why I said "Only thing that sort of works for me" - it's still not going to be representative of what other people see in different locales. Only Google has access to what really is going on, and they aren't sharing.

g1smd




msg:4429129
 5:57 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mine would be highly tainted by searches for Chinese and Korean topics what with the amount of foreign students here. :)

SnowMan68




msg:4429132
 6:00 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I like to clear/delete my history (browsing history, DL history, cache and cookies). Then I reopen the browser. Seems to work pretty good. As soon as you start clicking on stuff you need to redo it though. Not sure if this is the best method, but it seems to work for me.

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