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Defeating Google's new web search

Thursday - 1/12/2012, 4:40am  ET

WASHINGTON - Google is causing a stir with its decision to create custom tailored results for users of its search engine.

Google's "search, plus your world" function includes photos and comments mined from their Google Plus social network.

The move has sparked an outcry from privacy advocates and from competitors like Twitter. But it's possible to fight Google with Google.

The easiest way is to change your Google settings and opt out of seeing personalized results.

CBS News and CNET Technology Analyst Larry Magid also says that browsers, including Google's own Chrome, offer an incognito or privacy mode that turns off any tracking, thereby defeating the new search program.

Magid warns that the custom searches could create a "feedback loop," where friends influence each others' search results and crowd out more objective sources. Even though he doesn't think Google's plan is as bad as some are making it out to be, he does believe privacy concerns are valid since Google has access to so much of our personal information.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)