Google has made a lot of noise with its algorithm changes, which have sunk a ton of content farms on its results pages. The big G has made it known that it’s incredibly serious in its attempts to provide the most relevant, quality results to its users.
Now, the world’s number one search engine wants users to know that should they fail that mission, the users themselves can eliminate unwanted result sources.
Yet another algorithm change allows Google account holders to block search results from domains that simply don’t cut it. Anything from offensive sites to those dreaded content farms can be eliminated by a simple click or, if need be, brought back by going through a blocked sites manager and reversing the process.
This was the next logical step for Google after debuting the feature as a Chrome browser extension nearly a month ago. Now users of Chrome 9 and higher, Internet Explorer 8 and higher, and Firefox 3.5 and higher will be able to use it as well.
For the time being, Google says that users’ actions will have no authority on its search rankings as a whole, but may consider it in the future, which would place a ton of power – rightfully or not – in the hands of its users. Remember, users don’t need a reason at all to block a site other than “I don’t like it”. That could be pretty risky.
I imagine it would take a good number of blocks to influence a page’s ranking however, so that may not be such a big deal if that gets implemented. Still, it would be interesting to see what sites become influenced by user blocks. A ton of content farms fell dramatically, but that was due to Google’s own discretion.
Having a mass of people decide to never see your website show up in a Google search again, then having Google essentially make it disappear would be the ultimate insult to injury.
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