Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.241.155

Message Too Old, No Replies

Seeing Search Results Without the Influence of Past Searches

     
5:41 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



In order:

Search from a different browser. Search from a different computer. Search from a different IP. Search from a public terminal.
9:42 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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%.
9:53 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

5+ Year Member



Add &pws=0 to your Google search URL.
10:32 pm on Mar 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



The topic is hitting the wider media in recent days... [theatlantic.com...]
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.
12:11 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



> 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.

[support.google.com...]
2:34 am on Mar 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



"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.
10:46 pm on Mar 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Makes a mockery of the "ranking reports" so beloved of some people. I haven't looked at one of those for a long time.
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.
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.
12:18 am on Mar 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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]

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



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?
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.
8:50 am on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



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

10+ Year Member



A public computer would also be tainted by local searches.
4:41 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



> 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.
5:57 pm on Mar 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



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

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month