Google Announces Opt-Out Tool To Keep Content Out Of Its Specialized Search Engines

By: Chris Crum - March 26, 2013

Google has launched a new way for sites to opt out of having their content show up in Google Shopping, Advisor, Flights, Hotels, and Google+ Local search.

Matt Cutts announced the feature in a very brief post on the Google Webmaster Central blog, saying, “Webmasters can now choose this option through our Webmaster Tools, and crawled content currently being displayed on Shopping, Advisor, Flights, Hotels, or Google+ Local search pages will be removed within 30 days.”

This is obviously not a feature that Google would want a ton of people to use, because the less content that appears in these services, the less useful they are. Perhaps that’s why Cutts hasn’t tweeted about the tool (maybe not, but perhaps). At least with the short announcement, they have something they can point to.

The feature is a direct response to an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. When Google settled with the FTC, one of the voluntary concessions Google made was a feature that would let sites opt out of Google’s specialized search engines.

As Danny Sullivan notes, the feature doesn’t let you choose which search engines you wish to opt out of. If you use the feature, you’re opting out of all of those mentioned.

On a help page, Google says, “This opt-out option currently applies only to services hosted on and won’t apply to other Google domains.”

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • SEO East Sussex

    So now we have a choice – let google do whatever it wants with your data – or opt out of local search… Not really in the spirit of the thing is it?

    I guess it is at least a move in the right direction – since it will in theory allow review sites to avoid having their content scraped by google (or will it, does google+ local search include google maps?), that said I think they’ve already ruined any of the companies that had a problem with them appropriating their content so its a little bit moot…