Well this could *really* put the cat among the pigeons. A few days ago Google released an extension called Personal Blocklist for its Chrome web browser that lets you set up a personal list of websites to block from any search results you get on Google.
The extension is designed to remove those annoying sites called ‘content farms‘ which do nothing but promote search engine optimised content written to a formula in order to earn money from Adsense clicks. You’ll have come across them before, nasty pages full of adverts and very little useful text relating to your search term.
Here’s a handy list of some of the biggest content farm culprits which you can use as an easy block list. Just click on the links, and when the Google page pops up, click the Block link under the result. Apart from being incredibly useful to get rid of…um…unspectacular links in the results when you’re doing a search for stuff on the web, it’s also going to be a real game changer if it catches on.
Suddenly massive business plans are going to end up in the toilet. There are multi-million dollar companies like Demand Media, Mahalo and others which run whole strategies based around creating this kind of vapid search friendly content to profit from. What happens when that business goes away because everyone is blocking their site? Interesting.
In the meantime, if you’re a Firefox or Internet Explorer user, you can use the Personal Block extension to achieve the same result. Just install it and run through the same block process for sites you don’t like or which don’t add general value to your search results. The other cool thing about this extension is it works across different search engines, not just Google, so it’ll also do the blocking for Yahoo! and Bing. Nice.
Remember, if you decide later that you miss a blocked site, you can unblock it easily from the search results again, and it’s your personal choice which sites you block, no-one else is affected. Enjoy your improved search results. Oh and note that every one of these vapid content sites you block will enable better quality results/sites to filter up to the top of the results pages.
We’ve all seen search results that had little to no value. Sometimes search results seem flooded by a handful of domains. PersonalBlock is a new browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer that lets you selectively block entire websites from your search results when you’re searching with Google, Yahoo! or Bing.