Infrastructure // PC & Servers
News
2/14/2011
04:58 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Launches Chrome Site Blocking Extension

Following up on action taken in January to bolster faith in its search results, Google is allowing users to block spam-filled domains.

Top 10 Google Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Google Stories Of 2010

Dogged by recent complaints about Web spam polluting its search results and the proliferation of low-quality content from so-called "content farms," Google on Monday released a tool that allows Chrome users to filter undesirable Web sites from their search results.

Personal Blocklist adds a "Block" link to Google search results. Clicking on this link prevents the blocked domain from appearing in future searches, until the block is removed by the user.

The software is not merely sweeping spam under the rug on the client side of things. It's also reporting what users block back to Google, which means it may affect sites' actual Google Web ranking.

"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," explains Matt Cutts, who runs Google's Web spam team, in a blog post.

In January, following a series of negative posts from prominent bloggers about the quality of the company's search results, Google altered its relevancy algorithm to strengthen penalties against low-quality content and said that it would consider additional measures to help curb Web spam.

On Sunday, the New York Times published an expose about how retailer J.C. Penny's Web site had gained a prominent place in Google search results through questionable search engine optimization tactics.

Search startups like Blekko have also made lack of Web spam a point of competitive differentiation.

By releasing Personal Blocklist, Google aims to demonstrate that it puts search quality above revenue quantity.

In fact, Google has been offering search result personalization since 2008. That's when it launched SearchWiki, "a way for you to customize search by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results," as Google put it at the time.

This socially-oriented service perhaps was deemed to be oriented too much toward personalization, and not enough toward punishment. Personal Blocklist promises something more punitive, a chance to stick it to the Web's polluters.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.