How to Hide your Google Search Queries from other Websites

Written by Amit Agarwal on Jul 22, 2012

If you type the search phrase “Digital Inspiration” on Google and click the first result, you arre most likely to land on this blog.

When this happens, the following information about your visit gets recorded into my Google Analytics account:

  • That you found the blog through a search engine called Google.
  • That you used the query “Digital Inspiration” to find that blog.

This data (also known as referrer information) is important as it helps website owners determine the exact search queries that people are using to discover their site on search engines.

At the same time, as a search consumer, if you are looking for something private on the Internet, you may not always want the other sites to know the search phrases you have used on Google to reach those sites.

Hide your Google Search Terms

Google does not report your search phrases to other sites as long as you were logged into your Google Account while performing the search. The search keywords for Google users who aren’t signed in will still be provided to Google Analytics as before.

You can also hide your Google search terms from other websites but switching the secure version of Google (https). Most websites using Google Analytics to record your visits but you can edit the HOSTS file to block Google Analytics from tracking you.

DuckDuckGo, an alternative to Google, also has a policy of not sharing your search terms with other sites. They had even put an illustrated guide explaining why the earlier Google approach was bad for consumers.

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