Why I Removed Google Web History

Personalized Based On Your Web History

Please Don't Help

Please Don't Help

I was up early this morning.   Very early 4:30 am Tucson time.   As my usual practice I did the first thing I do every morning.   I did a Google search for “tucson real estate”   I can type this in my sleep and do quite often.

Most morning when the search results are returned I grit my teeth and hope my blog is still at least on page #1.   Most of the time it is, but lately with Google putting more emphasis on returning the “Big Name” sites like Trulia, Real Estate Yahoo, and local brokerages it has been much harder to hold a page #1 position.

But this morning when my site was #1, I knew something was wrong or different.   It took a little while to find the new words at the top saying they were using my “Web History” to return my results.   GREAT.

I’m logged into my Google account all the time because of Gmail.   Now Google is picking for me based on what I’ve viewed before the order of the search results.   NO Thank You!   I want the most current results for all my searches not some historical returned results being filtered.

Maybe I’ve gone to a particular site because there was one piece of information I needed a few time.   But that doesn’t mean I want that site returned higher in my future searches because I was there in the past.

Where Am I Now

But the biggest reason this is bad for those of us living and sometimes dying by the whim of Google’s ever changing algo is I need to know where my site is coming up for specific keyword search terms.   It is part of my   analysis and SEO efforts.   I don’t need Google making this harder. I don’t want to have to log out of my Google Account every time I want to see where I’m coming up in search results.

Delete Web History From The Account

I tired emptying the history, I tried to “pause” the history after I had emptied it, but all to no end.   It still brought my site up as #1.   Nice for the personal EGO but not for SEO analysis.   The only answer.   DELETE WEB HISTORY FROM MY GOOGLE ACCOUNT.   Which I did and promptly got back to normal.

What This Means To You

What this means to you who are striving to be on page 1 of Google.   Good Luck, for those with a Web History and Google Account on so they can get to their Gmail there is a good chance you will never, NEVER, EVER make it to page 1.

Historically you weren’t there and now your changes of making there are even fewer.   Of course it won’t matter for those who don’t have a Google Account, or aren’t logged in, but do you really want those who are not seeing your site in their search results?

Before you start celebrating your new found placement.   (Oh you thought this last PageRank Update must have really helped didn’t you?)   Check to see if you have that little “Personalized based on your Web History”   is on the top right.   If so, take a quick “Print Screen”   save it as a graphic and show it off to the unsuspecting.   Then go get rid of Web History from your Google Account and get back to work.


  1. LOL, I can totally relate to the feeling – I’m borderline crazy about checking our SEO rankings on critical keywords. Fortunately, one of my buddies turned me onto this site that I use to track my SERP:


    I think this will also solve your problem… and it’s handy to see where your ranking for Yahoo and Live at the same time.

    Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it.

  2. Boy can I relate – had the same happen to me the other day with my website. Here I am talking to my SEO guy and he is telling me I am #2 under Yahoo, while I am looking right at #1. He says maybe you have real estate as one word. No you idiot I know how to spell it I sell it. I thought I was going crazy, my husband checked it #1 then my son checked it #2. Now I know why…thanks Dave

  3. Cindy,

    I think this is Google’s extending of the April Fool’s PageRank upgrade. I wonder how many haven’t figured it out yet.

    Have a Great Day


  4. I have never allowed google history and you make me glad i didnt



  6. John,

    That is pretty simple. While you are logged into your google account do a search. See where I marked in Yellow at the top “Personalized based on your web history” Click that link. You will have the option to remove Web History from your account.


  7. The personalized results have been going on for a while. Cindy, your results could have just been a slight difference in the data center data.

  8. It was really hard to determine that because it gave me some weird results which I presented to one of my customers in excitement. I think Google should send informative email on new features to their customers.

  9. It took me a while to realise that when I’m logged into my Google account my results for Nashville Real Estate are definately skewed to the site I visit most which turns out to be mine! Now, to get an accurate view of my ranking in the organic results, I make a point of logging out of Google 🙂

    Gary 🙂

  10. I totally agree with wanting the most current results, not some filtered history. The best way to have found is to switch web browsers weekly to keep everything fresh. Pretty good idea for guy that is not very techy! Any recommendations for me?

  11. Robert,

    If you don’t remove the Google Web History the only way to keep it from filtering your results is to not log into your Google account. Changing browsers will have no effect if you log in.

    I have gmail so I am always logged in to Google, my only option was to Remove the web history.

  12. Five months of SEO tinkering down the pan, yesterday my business partner was looking at rankings at the same time as me and we couldn’t figure out how he was getting our site ranked in the teens and I had it as #2. Eventually I tracked it down to ‘web history’ – very annoyed. Here I was thinking that my SEO work has got our site to #2 but it really is at #20. I can’t see why you would want filtered results and not the actually results – if you wanted to find a particular site you go to often your surely would just bookmark it.


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    […] RE blog lab – Why I removed Google Web History Google is picking for me based on what I’ve viewed before the order of the search results.   NO Thank You!   I want the most current results for all my searches not some historical returned results being filtered. […]