Google Search Privacy: Personalized Search

Ohye: Hi, my name
is Maile Ohye. I’m a Support engineer
at Google. In the second video
in our series on privacy, I’d like to talk
about the kinds of information that Google can use
to personalize your search experience. I’ll also show you some tools we’ve designed to help you protect
your privacy while still being able
to benefit from the improved
search experience that personalization
can offer. Google’s goal is to give you
exactly the information you want
when you want it. With more and more information
coming online every day, this is pretty hard to do. And oftentimes,
there’s guesswork involved because the same words
and concepts can mean different things
to different people. For example, say you search
for the word “b-a-s-s.” Are you looking
for great fishing spots or checking out a guitar? Or how about golf? Do you want to play a round
on the nearest course or buy a Volkswagen? Our software can’t always answer
these questions. After all, you’re the only one
who knows exactly what you’re looking for. But search algorithms
that take into account your personal preferences
do a much better job of getting it right. Here’s how. Knowing your IP address
and domain, the country you’re accessing
Google from, helps us make your results
more relevant by taking into account
your general location. So if you’re in Chicago, and you type “football” into, you’ll get different results
than if you did the same search in London
on But your IP address and domain
don’t tell us anything about your specific interests. Knowing about you,
in particular, can be our most valuable tool in delivering the results you actually want. That’s where Google Account
comes in. You can sign up
for a Google account with just a user name
and password. It’s what you do,
for example, when you create
a Gmail account. Your email and password don’t tell us personal stuff
about you, like your name, age,
or occupation. So why do we need them? Well, in addition
to helping us verify that you’re really you and not someone else
who’s using your computer, your email and password
allow us to maintain a record of your Web History,
the things you search for, and the sites you visit. We can use your Web History to rank your search results so that the information
that you’re more likely to be looking for shows up at the top
of the list. Take that search
for “b-a-s-s.” If your Web History tells us you’ve been checking out sites
about the Rolling Stones, your search results
are less likely to be focused
on rods and reels. And if your Web History shows
that you’ve searched for information
about handicaps or clubs, your golf search results
are more likely to be about the game
than the car. You can view your Web History
any time you like. Just sign in to Google
and click Web History. What about privacy? Well, you control every aspect
of your Web History, including whether you want
to use it at all. Say you’re searching
for a gift for your husband and don’t want your search
to appear in the Web History
of a computer you share. No problem. Just open up
your Web History and click Pause. And Web History will stop recording your searches until you unpause it. Maybe you just want
to keep certain types of Web searches
or site visits private. That’s easy. You can just tick off
individual items that you don’t want included
in your history or clear your entire history with just a click. If you do this, the only items
we’ll keep a record of are the things we discussed
in our first video: your search query, IP address, and cookie, but none
of your personal information. As you can see, we’re able to personalize
your search results to help you find
even more useful information when you search on Google. We also strongly believe
that you should have control over what information we
maintain about your Web History and when we can use it to
personalize your search results. If you want to learn more about Google search
personalization and privacy, visit our Privacy Center
at Thanks for watching, and thanks for searching
on Google.

Comments 38

  • Ok, kind of cool, but what aren't they telling us, will web history be used to post ads that will tell people what we've been searching for?

  • hot girl..

  • I LOVE THIS CHICK! She needs her own channel.

  • You never shared a computer with someone? Or did a google search for/with someone else? Even with current systems you can tell quite a bit from information the browser hangs on to.

  • The website on which this video is posted is owned by google.
    The web history is "defintely helpful"(pun intended) to give more relevant search results as well as more relevant ADS. How does google earn revenue?Ads.
    If you want to learn and better the user experience, ask the people to volunatrily participate in your search experiments instead of the way you do it by chosing on your own!
    Though I like the innocent face of the support engineer and the simplicity with which she hides things!

  • I hate Google they are trying to control our minds by controlling the internet. I have heard they are creating mind controlling devices i.e chips in the near future that will contol ur minds and send u to thier sites. Worse than Microsoft in my opinion

  • The idea is truly great, but what about the real privacy story! Google knows whatever I am trying to search for, and that really hack my privacy, even if I stopped the Web History functionality!!

  • google scares me…they can do anything basically…they own the internet pretty much and have so much money

  • this is just great,now i'll never have any privacy on internet

  • nice video. Thanks google- we love you

  • Every technological improvement has it's benefits and dangers. Google might help me to overcome an information overload on the world wide web, but substantially narrows my options as well. In this way google won't let me explore things outside the 'usual', which neutarlizes the whole purpose of exploring things anyway. Don't know if I need to be happy about this sort of (monopolized) technologies.

  • Google probably loves you to! They are rich!

  • why chinese?

  • qsareett mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm22

  • ugh, all I wanted was to know how to get rid of the automatic search engine on google


  • lol when shes pointing to pictures… seems like playschool yay 😀

  • I agree!

  • how do i take of this fucking shit think i chose the option for no history now its still fucking on here AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • I heard that you keep record of all your searches and would give away to police if asked…
    is this true?
    and why?

    I really need to know this please reply

  • To all you people complaining about Google and/or your privacy: No one is making you use Google or any of their services. If you don't like them, don't use them – it really is that simple


  • What is the purpose of Google keeping track of EVERY site, I've ever visited?!! "Big Brother" does a good enough job, of tracking my EVERY move!
    I don't want Google doing it too!

  • watch some of the other videos and you will find out 😉

  • ATTENTION GOOGLE! This is my Top 10 Favorite Google Features.(Part 2)
    1. Sites
    2. Earth 5.0
    3. Web Search
    4. Maps
    5. Books
    6. Gmail
    7. Product Search
    8. Sketch Up
    9. Images
    10. My Maps
    I hope you enjoyed the list, Google.

  • What "web history"??? I can't find that setting, and never seen it.

  • She's really sexy!

  • Why does google automatically save each user's search strings? Most people won't know how to turn it off. And if one turn it off, how can the users trust that no more info about their searches are no longer being monitored?

    Sad that Google have resorted into this "big brother watches you" behaviour. Seems like their long term goal is to know everything about everyone.

  • Anyone who expects total privacy on the internet is amazingly naive. Want complete privacy? Don't use search engines. Better yet, stay off the web. Don't want Google to know you're into a rubber watermelon fetish? Then don't go searching for rubber watermelon fetish websites. Simple.
    And, yes, the lady is hot. Yum.

  • she's asian…

  • I can't say I agree with this. Whatever happened to just typing in 'golf volkswagen' or 'bass guitar'? I think it's unnecessary filtering poorly justified and I think you have to be a little foolish to believe it.

  • google leave us the fuck alone… we search for what the fuck we want when we want… PRIVACY DAMMIT we dont need a personal search bar on every fuckin site we visit, we dont need a GOOGLE account for YOUTUBE we dont need these new shit ideas that you have… you are full of shit fuck you very much

  • i do know that this is just a lie… you say you make it better for us but what you do with the information you gather from us? you just sell it to the us gouvernement… then laws like SOPA PIPA and ACTA can shut our mouths up for ever. you just keep tracking us and watch us all the time… the internet was fully free before you wanted money and now you come around to see what the fuck we are doing on the internet
    and then you keep saying that this information about us doesnt tell you anything

  • People should use alternative search engines like gyffu etc for privacy.

  • Google must balance meeting the demands of the advertisers who pay them and not pissing off the people who use their service. I think they make an honest effort to do so. They are certainly FAR more transparent about privacy than Facebook. I'll trust them until they piss me off.

  • how to get touch with google developers ? , five years working alone

  • So secure can't use it

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