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Delete Your Web History to Avoid Google’s Personalized Results

The search results served up by Google are based in part on what it thinks you want to see, determined somehow from your past web activity. This is true even if you are not signed in to your Google account; even if you don’t have one. If you prefer to see neutral search results, visit this page and carefully follow Google’s instructions to delete both your account’s web history and the web history cookie.

Unfortunately, even these measures are not enough to convince the Google that you want neutral results without any meddling based on what they think they know about you and your desires. Near the bottom of the page of results I still get “Results from people in your social circle” which is influenced by my Google Reader subscriptions. The only way I can find to get rid of this annoyance is to log out of my Google account. The only problem with that is that I like to keep Google Calendar and Google Reader open, and they don’t work unless I log back in.

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