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How to disable Google’s new personal search results

Google introduces G+ integration

Announced this week, Google Search now features personal search results in a more deeply integrated way than the traditional Social Search which for years has revealed social interactions, but now features Google+ circles, photos and posts as search results. The new feature is called “Search Plus Your World.”

Reviews have been mixed – here at AGBeat, most of us like the addition, having said adios to hiding anything from Big Brother Google long ago, but some people dislike the newly featured personal results, calling it cluttered. Perhaps it depends on the quality of one’s Google+ network, or perhaps some are accustomed to a traditional Google Search, but for whatever reason, no one is stuck with the new results (yet).

Disable personal search results

To temporarily disable social search results, click the globe icon in the top right of the page. It simply turns them on and off.

To more permanently disable them (or rather to hide them), click the gear at the very top right of the page where your general Google settings are. Select “Search Settings” and under “Personal results,” simply click “Do not use personal results” and save your settings with the blue button at the bottom of the page. You can still click the globe icon at any time to see personal results.

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The temporary fix only works to make global, not personal results the default for one session. Changing your setting changes the default without having to click buttons. To test it out, open a new browser window or a new tab as settings changes do not take effect in the same session. Below is an image of a search with personal results:

Lifehacker.com’s Adam Pash writes, “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 honor of being your default search engine isn’t fixed in stone, and moves like this can easily push users in other directions. I don’t think it’s a useless feature, but for the majority of my searches, it is, and forcing it as a default is a misstep.”

Again, various entities have taken different positions on the usefulness of the results and while we appreciate them, it is not everyone’s preference.

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