Google announced via the Official Google Blog and Google Chrome Blog today that it has released an experimental extension for the Google Chrome browser that allows you to selectively filter your Google Search results by domain. With the specific goal of reducing content farm spam, Google is letting individuals take control over their search results after a rough past couple months for Google Search. The Personal Blocklist extension is already available for Google Chrome and can be installed to start improving your searches now.
Google Search filters are nothing new. There are a handful of GreaseMonkey scripts already in use by Firefox users to remove selected sites from their results. Google, however, might be taking things a step further which includes a heads up to anybody with privacy concerns. From the new extension’s description:
The personal blocklist extension will transmit to Google the patterns that you choose to block. When you choose to block or unblock a pattern, the extension will also transmit to Google the URL of the web page on which the blocked or unblocked search results are displayed. You agree that Google may freely use this information to improve our products and services.
From the Google Blog posting:
we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.
It will only be a matter of time to see if this does get implemented or even worse, gets gamed like other similar services.
If you do a search that would have included a site from your Blocklist, then you’ll see this line at the bottom of your search page.
Some results were removed by the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension
Behind it, there is a link to include the blocked sites back into your search results. In addition, you can click on a palm button in the top right corner in order to view all of the sites you’re blocking. You can then edit or remove those sites from the listing should you change your mind. You can also disable the plugin or hide the button by right-clicking on it and choosing the correct option on the context menu.
Will there be a Firefox addon equivalent or is Google trying to achieve a “two birds, one stone” goal by providing a value-adding extension to Google Chrome while also getting more data on users using Search? Check out the Personal Blocklist extension if you’re a Google Chrome user and you’ve been ready to join the bandwagon calling for Google Search’s demise. Start blocking those spam, malware, and content farm sites that profit from plundering the search rankings.