Google Overhauls its Search Settings

Despite being the most popular search engine in the world for what seems like the umpteenth year in a row, many users have some harsher words to say about the search engine’s usability, particularly when it comes to managing their Google Ads accounts. Google is however now making it easier for users to review and manage the data that is relevant to them, giving them direct access to their activity without even logging into their Google account.

The recent overhaul of its Search settings is being welcomed by users browsing the online world for all purposes, from the businesses we assist with our search engine optimisation services to individuals looking to search more succinctly online.

Why the big change?

With this year’s official enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it has been all hands on deck for every business as they look to better and more securely manage the data that is important to them and their customer base. Google’s overhaul of its Search settings is just one step in a new strategy to help users embrace improved control over their data. Greater power is set to be harnessed not just in Search but in Maps and other Google products in 2019.

The move towards better data control will be welcome news to most browsers as we become increasingly concerned about how our data is being used by the biggest technology companies. Facebook was the latest tech giant at the heart of scandal with its dealings with Cambridge Analytica throwing up various questions about data protection complacency in the biggest businesses. Google itself has also been subject to scrutiny in recent years with both France and Spain imposing fines on the search engine as a result of their privacy practices. Google narrowly missed being fined by our very own Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in 2015 due to privacy issues too.

How will your experience be affected?

Whilst having better control over how your data is used, viewed and shared is of course a vital step in the right direction, you’ll naturally want to know how Search setting changes will impact your experience when using Google. The alterations make it simple to review and delete search activity with quick and easy access to various controls without needing to leave Search.

Advanced settings, such as the privacy controls and advertising options found in user’s Google account area, will also be more easily accessible thanks to the overhaul.

When will the new settings be available?

If you haven’t noticed already, the improvements are already live on Google Search. Both its desktop and mobile versions benefit from the new Search settings. Those with iOS or Android Google apps will have to wait a few more weeks for the new features to become available.