It came to my attention this morning when trying to conduct some research on a client’s rankings that Google appears to have removed the “View customizations” option from its result pages. Here’s an image of what it used to look like:
(Full disclosure: I lifted that image from SEO-e’s post about turning off personalized search since I can’t do a retroactive screen grab. Attribution and some effusive gushing about how much I loved the post enough to bookmark it will have to serve as my plea for mercy should anyone over there be upset with me for it.)
From that “View customizations” link we used to be able to see unfiltered results – really handy stuff when trying to counter the effect of personalized search to see where your client really ranks.
And then today, there was no nifty “View customizations” link. There was only this:
No bottom search bar, no “View customizations” link! “Search within results” has also gone AWOL. We’ve checked this on several computers around the office, and all have the same missing elements, though ninja Patti reported getting a bottom search box and the “Search within results” option when Google Instant is turned off. She contributed this screenshot:
We were able to duplicate this across computers across three different locations in two states, so it appears to be a system-wide change.
- The bottom search box and “Search within results” options disappear when Google Instant is on.
- “View customizations” is gone entirely.
I’m less upset about the bottom search box than the “view customizations” option being gone. It was nice to have some kind of neutral ground on which to view raw, unfiltered results. Maybe Google thought this view provided a little too much insight into the personalization algo?