How to Remove Google Personalization from Google Search Results

Barry over at Search Engine Roundtable wrote an interesting post about Google personalization and a little-known Google feature. There is a way to turn off the Google search results’ personalization feature by appending “&pws=0” to the Google search results URL.

 

I recall removing personalization in the search results several years ago, and keep having to use this Google feature over and over again. It seems as if you have to do it more and more often, even if you are not logged into Google.

If you search Google and find that you are increasingly faced with personalized search results from Google, you are not alone. Not only is Google personalizing your search results when you are logged in, they are also determining your location and personalizing your search results according to your location. For example, Google “knows” that I am in the Dallas area. So, when I search for “moving” I get search results that are tailored as if I am in Dallas and moving to another location in Dallas, even if that is not the case.

So, at the end of the search results URL (in my web browser) I have to add “&pws=0” to the end of the URL, hit “enter” and Google will de-personalize the search results for me.

To make it easier, though, I have developed a Firefox Bookmarklet (a bookmark) that you can use to automatically remove the personalization from the Google search results. All you have to do is click on the bookmarklet and it will remove the personalization for you.

How to Install the Bookmarklet
To install the bookmarklet I created for removing personalization, all you have to do is copy this URL below and bookmark it. In Firefox, you can add the bookmark to your bookmarks toolbar as a button. Here is the bookmark:

Remove Personalization

The above bookmark does not start with http, since it is actually a JavaScript directive to append &pws=0 to the current URL. So, in order for this to work properly you have to first search for something at Google and get to the search results page. Then, click on the bookmark or bookmarklet and it will remove the personalization in the Google search results for you.

Keep in mind that this will work differently depending on the exact keyword phrase that you’re searching for. You may or may not be able to force Google to remove certain personalization that they are doing.

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