Personal Blocklist: Google Battles Content Farms with New Chrome Extension
Article by George Norman
On 15 Feb 2011
Content farms, as Mountain View-based search engine giant Google explained, are sites that do not have a lot to offer. Sure, they have plenty of content, but that content is “shallow or low-quality.” In its stride to provide top quality, relevant search results to all the Google users out there, Google is doing its best to not display such sites in the search results.

In this endeavor user feedback is quite important. To get all the user feedback, Google has released a new Chrome extension called Personal Blocklist – you can get it from the Extensions Gallery here or the Chrome Web Store here. Get this extension and you will be able to block certain sites from appearing in Google search results.


After you install the extension, and after you perform a Google search, underneath search results you will notice a “Block” link underneath the results. Click the block link and you will no longer see results from that domain.

A the bottom of the search results list you will notice the following message :some results were removed by the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension (show)”. Click “show” and you can remove domains from the block list.

Click the extension’s icon from the upper right hand corner of the screen and you will be able to edit your list of blocked sites.

Remember the feedback part I mentioned above? Data on the sites you block will be sent to Google and Google will use this feedback to better identify content farms.

“We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we're exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. 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,” said Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer with Chrome.

Matt Cutts went on to say that for now the extension, which is an early test, is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

Tags: Google, Chrome, Extension, Personal Blocklist, Feedback, Content farms
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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