If Aaron’s correct that they are increasing personalized search and turning off notification, and I have no reason to doubt him, I have to say whatever rocket scientist came up with that idea should be handed a pink slip and thrown out the door.
Here’s an example I like seafood, and when I go out to a restaurant it’s something I prefer. If the the restaurants I visited mined my past purchases they could discern that pattern easily. If the wait staff was like Google when I sat at the table they might tell me they have three choices, swordfish, shark or octopus. The manager would beam confidently that my personalized menu was the panicle of restaurant service. The owner would would have a self congratulatory smile across his face that he had improved my customer experience. Want to know what they would have screwed it up and couldn’t have gotten in more wrong.
Sure I may have ordered that sashimi 6 months ago that had octopus in it, but I did it because I wanted to know what it tasted like. I don’t eat octopus I think they are intelligent animals and have a real problem eating them, in fact if I had to eat octopus one more time it would be two times too many.
Swordfish there’s another one I’ve eaten before, but you know what, when I saw a video of a species specific parasitic worm over 2 feet in length being pulled from just under the skin, my swordfish days were over. Sharks, well I just won’t eat sharks anymore because I think they’re cool.
Sure now some pocket protector wearing propeller head will chime up, the system should be smart enough to learn that and not offer those choices to you again. Ok wise guy what if I was listening to Aaron Copeland in the car (yes I do have classical music in the car) and suddenly got a hankering for a steak when I heard Rodeo (it’s the beef it’s what’s for dinner music) on the way over, is your system smart enough to learn that?
I don’t go to the library to see only the books the librarian thinks I should read. I don’t go to the video store to see only the movies they think I should rent. I don’t go to the supermarket to buy only the food the supermarket wants me to buy. I’m an intelligent human being and can make decisions for myself, and I don’t need search results treat me like I’m a child, thank you very much. Lastly if you were confident in the quality of your SERP’s you wouldn’t need to tailor them to me specifically.
Why is it such a big deal, why don’t I just turn off personalized search? Well I wish I could, but because some genius had the bright idea to make search history dependant on personalized search, so I can’t, unless I want to give up the history. Go try to turn off personalized search and not lose search history, if you figure it out come back and tell me how. C’mon Google let’s put an end to this nonsense and if you are “improving my user experience” at least have the decency to tell me about it.