Turn Off Google's New Personal Search Results

Yesterday Google announced they were integrating Google+ into your search results, and this morning, you have have noticed the change. The problem: It's cluttered, not useful for the bulk searches you do every day, and enabled by default for all results. Even if you choose to hide personal results, they're turned back on by default with each fresh search. It's annoying, user unfriendly, and you should turn it off. Here's how.

First of all, the "search plus your world" feature is still rolling out, so you might not see this yourself yet. It's definitely starting to do so in mass, however. When you're signed into Google and if you use Google+ or Picasa sharing, you'll see personal results at the top of the web search results page, on the right side and in the search listings, marked with a blue person icon.

You can toggle the personal results off by clicking the globe icon on the top right of the page, but this can be a pain to keep doing over and over again with each search.

Thankfully, it's easy to disable* the personal results:

  1. Click on the settings cog at the top right of the Google page, then click Search settings.

  2. Under "Personal results" select "Do not use personal results."

* Ed note: Selecting "Do not user personal results" actually doesn't disable personal search results — you can still toggle to show personal results any time. It just makes "hide personal results" the default. The decision to bury this toggle in the settings rather than making your decision sticky, if anything, indicates how aggressively Google is pushing Google+ into their various products, and I, for one, don't like it. It's hostile to the user for the benefit of G+. I'm not under the illusion that Google is always focused on you — they're a massively profitable corporation in the business of making money — but the honour of being your default search engine isn't fixed in stone, and moves like this can easily push users in other directions.


    I still don't have this feature :(

    I also don't like the forced contact information change through G+. To fix it, I just deleted my G+ account, which I am sure was not their intended result.

      thats like saying because people can look me up on white pages, i became a hobo

        I am not talking about having my information out there. They are implementing a system where contact information automatically update as people change their own contact information. So if I have someone's home number an they "update" their own contact to use only their work number, then google will automatically "update" their number for me, and i lose their home number.

    I personally like this feature
    We all know that's how google and facebook make their money - data mining to bring you ads you're more likely to click on - so to get search suggestions based on what people in my "circles" + 1 seems like a good idea. If you're not finding that what you're friends +1 is to your tastes then you may need to reevaluate your "circles"
    Aldo note if no-one uses the feature it will soon be removed, and as the article states your free to change to a different search engine anytime.
    Apparently bing is now decent

    It could have been so much better if Twitter also integrated into personalised search.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now