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I switched away from Google to Bing on my iPhone because I like to Google in incognito mode for basically everything... and recently Google’s added some annoying friction to that.

I started Googling in incognito when Google decided to return “personalized” search results instead of standard results, a few years ago. I was always more interested in the normal results than whatever Google thought I specifically wanted to see. But, since this Summer when I switch to a fresh incognito mode session to do a Google search, I have to click on traffic lights and sidewalks multiple times just to see the first search result. And it always says I failed the first two tries even when I know I did it right. I end up having to do a minute of clicking on images just to do a search. It’s like I’m being punished for wanting to Google in incognito. It happened often enough on my phone for me to go screw this and switch the default search engine.

Bing’s search results just aren’t as good though. I often have to Google for some things, still. But now I’m trying Duck Duck Go.

By the way not sure why my own anecdotal experience is being downvoted. This is my own actual experience, not really an opinion piece.




I've never seen this behavior by Google in incognito... Wonder if they're doing some questionable browser/os fingerprinting to track you??


It happens more often when I copy and paste the search instead of type it in. So for example I’ve already searched on Bing and I don’t like the results. So I copy and paste the query on Google in a fresh incognito mode instead of retype (I use Safari on iOS so maybe that helps with recreating it)

Other times when I don’t copy and paste I’m just Googling stuff related to my work as a programmer. And I’m guessing since I don’t always use natural language it raises a few flags? I’m not sure.

This was before we had wifi at this house (just got it last month) so I was using a cellular connection almost exclusively, except when at a coffee shop or something.

But I’m a fully coherent human and I can attest that it happened often enough for me to get annoyed by it real fast.


I haven't seen this in incognito either... which is probably why op is being downvoted.

I didn't downvote because I feel bad for OP, but the information is innacurate according to my personal experience, which IMO is a actually good reason to bury it.

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edit: By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.


> By the way I DO see the traffic lights, crossroads etc and can sometimes NEVER get past them sometimes when using Tor, so this might have something to do with google restricting op's network provider rather than incognito mode.

When I do a Google search outside of private mode I’m logged in to my Google account. Under that scenario I’m pretty much never asked to prove I’m not a robot. Same when visiting websites who have that “I’m not a robot” checkbox. When I’m in private mode I have to train datasets. When I’m not in private mode I just hit the checkbox and I’m not a robot.

For me there is a direct correlation between being in private mode on mobile Safari and being asked to click on street signs and sidewalks.

- 100% of the time when clicking “I’m not a robot” checkboxes (which I don’t really mind),

- and pretty reliably (although not always) when doing a google search on a fresh private window on mobile Safari (which I do mind because I get sidetracked for a minute and exit my search mode mindset)




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