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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Google Personal Search

Have you noticed that when you search for yourself on Google, your site is pretty high up on the list?  Google customizes our search results when we are signed in to any Google account.  Sites you have visited often will appear higher in the search results.

It used to be the easiest way to turn off that personal search was to type in &pws=0 at the end of the URL search results.  This turns off the personal search results and will show you what the rest of the world will see when they search using your keywords.  While this method still works, there's now a much easier way.

While signed in to google, you will see this image in the upper right corner of your search results page-

You can toggle back and forth between the person icon, and the world icon.  If you click on the person icon, you will see your personal, customized results.  If you click on the world icon, you will see the results that everyone else sees.

You can also click on the settings icon, and go in to change your personal search settings.  But with this handy little toggle button, it's easy to switch it back and forth for your searches.

No need to sign out of Google, open a new browser, repeat search.  No need to call all of your friends and ask them to search for you so you can find out where your site shows up for everyone else.

This is a fairly new feature... one I obviously wasn't aware of when I posted about the &pws=0 tip just a few days ago on Facebook.  That's the amazing thing about technology - it is always changing!

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.


  1. This was very helpful!! Thanks for the info.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Skyfire. I'm glad it is useful info!

  3. Another way to accomplish the same thing is to use Firefox as your browser. Tools/Start Private Browsing gives you results that are not skewed by your recent searches.
    "Private Browsing:

    Firefox won't remember any history for this session. In a Private Browsing session, Firefox won't keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files. However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept.

    To stop Private Browsing, select Tools > Stop Private Browsing, or close Firefox.

    While this computer won't have a record of your browsing history, your internet service provider or employer can still track the pages you visit."