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Depersonalizing Search Results in Google Chrome

By John-Henry Scherck on 7-14-11 in SEO and Content Marketing

If your business is currently engaged in an SEO campaign, than its safe to say that you periodically check your search engine rankings for some of your more competitive terms. It’s great to keep an eye on your organic rankings, but what if I told you that the rankings you are looking at for your site might not be accurate? That’s right, the search results you view on your personal computer could be different if you have visited any of the websites that are showing up.

This is due to personalized search: Google tweaking search results on an individual basis due to user’s internet history. This might be great for the average search engine user, but it is of zero help when you are trying to manually check your rankings. With a simple change in your Chrome browser settings you can permanently get rid of this headache and start seeing search results as they should be – depersonalized.

Note: this only works if you are using the tool bar in the Chrome browser.

Step 1: finding the search engine control panel in Chrome

In the upper right hand corner of your chrome browser window you will see a wrench icon. Click on that icon and select “Options” in the drop down menu.

depersonalized options

In the new page that pops up select the basics tab. You will see a search section and a button that reads, “Manage Search Engines,” click on this button and go to the next prompt.

depersoanlized manage

Step 2: Creating a Custom Search Engine in Chrome

At the bottom of all the possible search engines you can choose for Chrome to use in its toolbar there is an option for “add a new search engine.”

depersonalized custom search engine

Name the search engine something like, “Google Depersonalized Search” leave the keyword field blank (it will auto populate) and in the field that reads “URL with % in place of query” input this URL:

Then select this newly created search engine as your default in Chrome.

This will permanently depersonalize your results in Chrome and you will no longer have to worry about your internet history skewing your search results when you are checking to see where your site ranks.



Hi Brooke - this is probably just due to a version update on Chrome, so unfortunately this method may not work as well at this point.


I recently downloaded Chrome and when I try this method, there is no way to make this my default or to add a new default. Any ideas why this is? Google even locks me out of editing the default url itself. Any recommendations or other options to try here?


It worked, but I had to fill out all 3 fields.


Can you shoot me the link to the toolbar? Thanks and great post!


  1. […] search engine in your Chrome options. John-Henry Scherck discussed the process in his blog post on depersonalizing results using Chrome. The only draw back here is that your results will be permanently […]

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