I just noticed that Google is now identifying personalized search results, in a way that I have to applaud. When did that happen?
It’s now shown clearly, right there where it tells you how many search results there are. When the fact was hidden early this spring, Aaron Wall of SEO Book said, “…so you don’t know when they changed, which sucks.” and I couldn’t agree more.
I can only assume that this has come about after much vocal and written opposition. At SMX Advanced in Seattle, in a session with Matt Cutts, attendees got to voice opposition to being forced to use personal search, and to the inability to turn it off easily.
I mentioned that there used to be a line that said “turn off personalized search” and by removing that, Google was removing my choice.
Matt straightened us all out by explaining that “all a user has to do to turn off personalized search is to add &pws=0 to the URL of a search query”.
Well I think any sane person would argue that clicking “turn OFF personalized search” is probably easier than appending every search query with a special string, so I’m hoping there will continue to be an evolution in Google’s end-user choice of personalization.
In the meantime, at least they are showing us once again that our results are personalized, and that’s at least a step back in right direction, in my opinion.