Personalized search results

What are personalized search results and what happens when the setting is turned on?

If personalised search results are turned on that means that we pass a unique identifier to our partner Bing. Bing will then adept and improve your search results based on your previous search history.

The differences are generally quite subtle, but the more confidence we have about what your intent is, the more personalized the results will become. We certainly don’t want to make any assumptions that prevent you from seeing a diverse set of results and lock you into a “filter bubble”, so the results that correspond to differing intents will still be available to you on the page.

Why would I want personalized search results?

Ambiguity is a big challenge for search engines. You generally search with a clear intent in mind, but without context, the phrase you enter may have a very different meaning to someone else.

As an example, let’s say you entered the search term "Australia". You could be in the process of planning a vacation. In this case, you’re most likely to be looking for websites specifically about the country Australia, or information about travel. Or suppose, instead, you’re a movie-buff and are trying to decide on a movie to rent for the evening. In this case you are looking for details regarding the movie Australia.

Without any context it is very hard for a search engine to serve your the most relevant results for your specific intent.

How do I turn personalised search results off?

If you would prefer your search results not to be customized based on your past search activity, you can turn off personalised search results at any time in your settings. If you turn this setting off, we will not pass any unique identifier to Bing. Please bear in mind that we still pass your IP address and other data to Bing in order to provide the search service.

Personalised search results and privacy

Ecosia does not permanently store your IP address or any unique identifier and our partner Bing automatically deletes your search history and the unique identifier after 18 months according to their privacy policy.

Do not track is a setting of your browser. If you have do not track enabled personalised search results will be permanently disabled. If you want to turn on personalised search results you need to have do not track disabled in your browser. You can learn more about do not track and how to enabled/disable it in your browser here: http://donottrack.us/

Please read here for more info on Ecosia's and Bing's Privacy Policy.

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