Have you ever watched a great cooking show? The fun is not just in seeing the finished dish, but also in understanding the inspiration, ingredients, execution and presentation — all the factors that went into making the meal.
That’s how we feel about Search: There’s value not just in seeing your search results, but also in understanding the factors that went into our systems to determine that those results would be useful for you. That’s why we share information about how Google Search works, and build tools like About this result. Today, we’re expanding About this result to help you understand and control how Search connects you to helpful results that are tailored for you.
Search results for you
About this result already tells you about some of the most important factors that Google Search uses to connect results to your queries. These are factors like looking at whether a webpage has keywords that match your search, or if it contains related terms, or if it’s in the language that you’re searching in.
Often the words in your query give our systems all the context they need to return relevant results. But there are some situations where showing the most relevant, helpful information means tailoring results to your tastes or preferences. In these cases, personalized results can make it easier to find content you might like.
For example, at Search On today, we announced how you’ll soon be able to enjoy a more personalized shopping experience when you shop with Google — helping you quickly see results from the brands and departments you like.
Another example of how personalized results can be helpful is if you search for something like “what to watch.” You might prefer a suspenseful thriller, whereas someone else might want a rom-com. That’s why Search offers movie and TV recommendations (if you have personal results turned on). Once you select the streaming services that you use, you’ll get personalized recommendations for what’s available and quickly see where to watch your picks.
Find cooking inspiration
Starting today, in English for mobile users globally, you’ll also be able to find more inspiration for your next meal. You can search for “dinner ideas” to see personalized recommendations for recipes you might like to try. If you have a specific hankering, you can search by cuisine or dietary preferences — for example, “Thai recipes.”
Easily understand and control personal results
We’re also launching a new update to About this result so you can easily see if a result is personalized. You can quickly access controls to manage personal results, including the ability to turn them off completely, if you want. And as always, we offer easy-to-use tools to control how and whether your search history and activity are saved to your account. This update to About this result will be available in English in the U.S. to start.
This information in About this result will also help anyone understand that not all Google Search results are personalized. Our systems only personalize when doing so can provide more relevant and helpful information. Results can differ between two people for reasons other than personalization, such as location. For example, if you searched for coffee shops near you in Columbus, OH, we wouldn’t show you the same results as someone searching for coffee shops in Tucson, AZ.
The information in About this result can give you a better understanding of how Google connects you to relevant, helpful results. As always, our goal is to help you discover the information that’s most useful to you, so you can find inspiration no matter what you’re searching for.