In their continued efforts to improve the search experience for the users, Google recently added new features to their Web Search that will allow customers to realise how their search results are customised, thus making the process more transparent.
In the near future, more customers will start seeing a message on the upper right hand corner of the search results page specifying that the search results have been customised for a particular city or locality. There will also be a link saying ‘More details’, which the user can click on to find out more.
Search results are personalised based on the following criteria:
- Location – based on the IP address of the computer being used, Google automatically knows the approximate location of the user. This information is used to provide search results that are most relevant to that location.
- Recent Searches – Whenever possible, Google will take into consideration the previous queries entered by the user, in order to better understand the context of the current search. This information will help customise results irrespective of whether the user has signed in or not. Google will also retain the last query entered on the browser for some time, in order to customise future results. However, if the user closes the browser, then, that information will be deleted instantly.
- Web History – If a user has signed in, and has Web History enabled, then Google will customise search results based on past records of what the user has searched. If a user does not wish to have a particular search customised, he/she can temporarily sign out from the Google Account.
The addition of this latest feature on Google Search will not alter the web results in any way. It will only allow users to better understand how their search data is used to personalise results.