Google has been dealing with quite the backlash since launching its brand new social search features. We’ve seen the uncharacteristically vocal Twitter getting in on the criticism, while Google has been quick to respond to the allegations. Meanwhile, the users are left in the middle.
While Google is gradually rolling out the new feature, you will find that it allows you to toggle between personalized and traditional results, with a button that sits at the top right corner of your screen.
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So far, it would appear that all of the personalized results are coming solely from your Google+ networks, so if you’re not interested in seeing Google+ posts so prominently featured in your search results, you can do a little more than just toggle the button.
With each new search, social results will pop right back up to the top of the page by default, but as Lifehacker points out you can change your default settings to exclude these results from the get-go. That said, personal results will continue to be available at the click of a button. There is no way to completely disable the feature.
To switch off personalized results showing up by default, do the following:
- Click on the settings button at the top right hand corner of your Google search page and select ‘Search settings.’
- Scroll down to the fourth setting on the page, labeled ‘Personal results’ and select ‘Do not user personal results.’
If Google is listening to its users at all, it might be worthwhile offering users the option to disable the feature entirely, rather than just hide it out of sight.