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Block Domains in Google Search Results

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Google just made a huge move that may have heavier ramifications on search quality than even the Panda Update. Google has basically taken the ability to block sites that it released in a Chrome extension recently, and simply added it to the Google search user interface, meaning that many more people are likely to take advantage.

Now, if you don’t want results from a certain site anymore, you can simply block it. So, you better produce quality content if you don’t want people to block your site.

Google Search Quality Engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang explain, “Once you’ve blocked a domain, you won’t see it in your future search results. (Side note: Sometimes you may have to search on a new term, rather than simply refreshing your browser, before you’ll notice the domain has been successfully removed.) The next time you’re searching and a blocked page would have appeared, you’ll see a message telling you results have been blocked, making it easy to manage your personal list of blocked sites. This message will appear at the top or bottom of the results page depending on the relevance of the blocked pages.”

Blocking Domains in Google ResultsBlock Domains in Google ResultsUsers will always be able to see a list of their blocked sites in their search settings, so if you want to unblock a site, you can always do that. You can block a new site on settings page as well.

“We’re adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google,” the two engineers say. “In addition, while we’re not currently using the domains people block as a signal in ranking, we’ll look at the data and see whether it would be useful as we continue to evaluate and improve our search results in the future.”

The main obstacle Google is likely to have to deal with in terms of this being a useful signal for rankings, is the potential for it to be abused – think competitors, biases, spite, etc. If there is a way to prevent that kind of thing, this would clearly be a useful signal. That might not be so easy though.

Users should start seeing the feature in their Google searches today or tomorrow in English for Chrome 9+, IE8+ and Firefox 3.5+. They’ll expand into more regions, languages, and browsers soon, the company says.

Block Domains in Google Search Results
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  • http://www.lead411.com/blog/block-content-farms-from-google-results-tech-media-will-still-complain Tom Blue

    Hi Chris: I agree. This change is 5X more helpful than the Panda update. The Panda update is trying to make a judgement call on what people should see, this allows people to choose what they want to see. I believe they shouldn’t even use these results in future algos as it can be gamed and only certain people will use this feature.

  • Joy

    Can Google Places, Maps be removed too? If not, they can get in trouble.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I can definitely see this being used by the more unscrupulous online community to attack competitors. If a site is blocked by numerous users, does it fall in the search rankings for everyone else? If not handled carefully, this feature could do serious harm to undeserving sites.

  • http://www.ecoselectwindows.com Windows Seattle

    I hope it doesn’t drop the search ranking. I can see this is becoming a problem with competitors in the market. It should remain on the computer where the site was blocked. In our market some peoiple don’t play fair. I will have to keep my eye on this. Thanks

  • http://www.webmasteratoz.com andrew h.

    You Know I’am Surprised Google Who Wants The Most Accurate Results Even Considers the User Blocking Feature Has A Way To Rank Sites.In Craigs List For Instance People Used The “Flagging” System Against Competetive Ads.Imagine Your #1 For a Competetive Keyword and The #2 Wants Your Spot He Could Order a “Fivrrr” gig To Have You Blocked From Multiple ip’s Results Or Something Similar So How Fair or Actually Forget About Fair We’re Dealing With Google Here!! So How “Accurate Are googles results Then???? Drew H.

  • http://bhole-nath.blogspot.com Sunil Bharatpur

    I need to ask one thing only regarding the site block…

    If I am working on any travel site and then i block the sites of our competitors then would ranking affect for them in SERP ?

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      That’s the question. There will no doubt be plenty of this kind of abuse, so how Google manages that will be something to keep an eye on. Right now, they say they’re only using it as a signal in “high confidence” situations.

  • http://www.xwise.co.il/ Omer Lev

    nice feature , but i do not use chrome – is it available for FF too?