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Google Lets Evil People Block Your Domain

Are Your Competitors Using That Chrome Extension?

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Yeah, I thought that title would grab you.  Google announced a new extension to its Chrome browser, an extension that could truly rock the SEO World.  The extension does two things:

  1. It enables searchers to block domains from search results.
  2. It tells Google what domains have just been blocked.

Says Google anti-spam spokesman Matt Cutts, " If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results."

This blog post will tell you exactly how to preserve and enhance your search engine rankings in a world where users can send explicit feedback (this Chrome extension is neither the first tool for explicit feedback, nor will it be the last; but it might just be the most powerful, so far).

I should make it clear that I was always a big believer is both explicit and implicit user feedback.  The search engines would be fools not to pay attention to which sites please their visitors when serving up sites to new searchers.

It was just over two years ago that I released Sticky SEO, essentially detailing how you can keep more visitors longer on your website, going deeper into the site.  For the most part, this means pleasing more visitors even more than you already do, since that is what Google looks for.

So what do you do with this Chrome extension?  Well, you want to please your visitors so that they don’t swear, curse and block your domain.

PROBLEM # 1: FREE LOADERS

Searching for free tattoos?  Probably not.
Searching for free tattoos?
Probably not.

There are a lot of people searching for free stuff on the Internet.  You don’t give your stuff away free, but the "free loaders" show up at your website.  "What?  They want a million bucks to dig a hole to China?  I want someone to do it for free.  Bloody rip-off scammers.  Block, block, block."

There are probably not too many people searching for "dig a hole to China" and expecting free service.  Nor are there many people expecting to get new shoes for free.  Nor gourmet coffee or gift baskets.  Nor metal buildings or intercontinental pipeline installation.  Not even free tattoos or body piercing. But there many niches that include freebie searchers,  for example…

  • website templates
  • resume help
  • music downloads
  • ringtones
  • online games
  • learn Spanish

How do you make sure that people searching for freebies don’t block your website when they discover that you are one of those evil profit-seeking cannibals who wants to feed your family?  You give them what they want, of course.  You add something free to your site.  You give them a free option, or you link to a free option.  Somehow, you make sure you please them.  Remember what your mother said?  "You can never go wrong being nice to someone."  Well, she should have said that.

PROBLEM # 2: GENERALISTS

Let’s say you sell a very specific item or service that is part of a bigger niche, but people don’t search all that specifically.  In Sticky SEO, on page 14 (until I eventually get around to updating it), I tell the tale of a client who wanted to revamp its website back in 2006.  They sold commercial fitness equipment, but their clients would search just for "fitness equipment".  The problem was that ten times as many people looking for home gyms also searched for "fitness equipment".

Life would be easy if people searched for "home fitness equipment"  or "commercial fitness equipment", but life wasn’t meant to be easy.  What would they do about all this traffic from generalist searchers?

Please them, of course.  Remember what your mother said?  "You can never go wrong being nice to someone."  Like I said, she should have said that…especially if she knew Google was going to give all those people an easy way to block your domain and tell Google your site sucks.

How to please those generalists?  No point in reprinting page 14 here.  You can read it for yourself.  (Hey, it’s a free download.  Did you think this was a sneaky sales pitch or something?)

Your evil competition wants to eat you.

Evil competitors want Google to eat you.

PROBLEM # 3: EVILDOERS

Yes, the world is an evil place if you look at it right.  Google’s motto is "Do no evil" (or something like that.  But they never said anything about not arming your competition to do evil, did they?  How much do you want to bet that across the Internet’s freelancer markets there will be an SEO arms trade: "100 domain blocks for $15 – from separate IPs in over 20 countries"?  Maybe for $25, who knows?

So how do you deal with that?  No inbound link is supposed to hurt your rankings, so that your competition can’t spam you out of the search results.  But what if a coordinated group of offshore outsourcing in China and India and Greenland gang up on you?

Sorry, I don’t have an answer for you on this one.  But I am sure Matt Cutts will be asked about it sooner or later, and maybe he will have an answer.  Hopefully.

Originally published at SEO-Writer.com

Google Lets Evil People Block Your Domain
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  • Guest

    How can I ban Chr… users from viewing my site? Something that redirects them to some type of message like “Chr… is evil. Your house is about to get robbed. Use Internet Explorer or Firefox to view this site”. If you know of a way, please let me know.

  • Guest

    This has got to be a joke. This shows M.C. needs to be replaced. He is out of ideas. Google needs fresh faces. He can’t handle the problem. Not that this extension will take off as nobody uses Chrome but the fact that they released this extension is just ridiculous, laughable. Blackhatters must be making business plans already.

  • Adsense Publisher

    The only problem with trying to block your competition out of existence is you have to think that if Google feels the blockings are not legitimate they might not count them and only block the results from those who are requesting certain results be blocked. Such as if suddenly 10,000 visitors blocked Amazon.com. I see this as more of a customization tool so you can remove those sites that you simply don’t want to see, don’t care for, whatever. I really don’t see this as a spam signal tool, but more of a customization tool. I say let the users determine what results they want by adding more filters. The more you filter, the less results you see, the less you filter, the more results you see. Makes sense to me.

    What I’d really like to see is the ability to remove things like Google Maps and Google Books out of the organic search results.

  • http://www.mcssafety.com Mike Streadwick

    Google needs to stop constantly changing the rules and forcing people to continually adapt to their never ending and overwhelming revisions. It’s nearly impossible for a small business owner with an online presence to keep up with all the nonsense and stay in competition with the big boys. How many website owners can afford to hire a Google expert to help them navigate the obstacle course that Google has become? Enough is enough already!

  • http://www.rank-king,eu rank-king

    I agree with guest: google forces the “elbow business” and that’s not a good kind of business philosophy overall, but I’m sure the day will come and a new search engine technology will overrule google.

    It shows once more that matt cutts makes wrong decisionsand he also has a very bigoted point of view of the whole internet.

    Not google is the internet – google earns cash with customers in the internet. And which company can make such decisions treating customers?

    Maybe they’ve earned too much.

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