Laptop and Coffee by jdurham at

Tweak Your Google Searches in Chrome

I spend almost all my online time within Google’s Chrome Web browser.  Which means that I don’t have a separate search bar from my location bar.  When I hit CTRL-L, my cursor is ready for either a Web site address (URL) or a search.  I made a couple of tweaks though, so that I get the type of results that I want.

No Country for Old Results

This is a personal superstition but I want to receive my results from the main Google index, not the localized Canadian one.  Resources are ranked differently and there is generally no reason for a Canadian emphasis on the sorts of content I’m trying to unearth.  You can edit your search engines but you may find that you’re still going to even though your default is  If you point your browser to you can kill the redirect (ncr = no county redirect) that forces you from to or your other local version.

Don’t Get Personal

When you are researching, you want to apply filters to your searches to help you narrow what you retrieve.  But the search engines are getting better at applying additional filters, as they personalize your content for you.  I have disabled this in my Web browser search so that I get results without reliance on my personal activity.  It’s interesting to see how different results pop-up.   You can customize this by adding pws=0 (that’s a zero) to your search line.  You can do this manually, but it’s easier if you embed it in your search if you’re going to use it regularly.  Here’s how it would look

Customizing Your Search Engines in Google Chrome to Block Personalization
Customizing Your Search Engines in Google Chrome to Block Personalization

But you can type it at any time.  Run your search in Google and then insert pws=0& into your search like this:


David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.