A common complaint when using Google or Bing is that search results are becoming increasing less reliable. Spam sites and content farms are scraping content from original sites and using SEO techniques to ensure their sites are being returned by Google, sometimes higher in the results page than the actual original content. It’s also frustrating when searching for anew product like a TV or tech gadget and finding spam sites returning ahead of the actual manufacturers pages.
To help combat this Google is adjusting it’s algorithms but has also released an extension for Chrome called Personal Blocklist.
Once installed the Blocklist is accessed via your Chrome toolbar via the icon highlighted above. This will show you the sites that you’ve blocked, and allow you to edit the URL or unblock a site. Blocking only takes place via Google search results. The extension adds a ‘block domain’ link to each search result.
Click on the link and the site will be added to your blocklist and results will be removed from your search results.
Personal Blocklist is a very simple but powerful way to filter out the noise in Google searches. At the moment Google will not include user’s blocklists as a weighting in it’s own algorithms but surely over time this will be a great way for them to improve the quality of results for everyone? I expect if they do start to use the findings we’ll see some legal action take place. So many businesses have relied on Google to drive their business model so there is a lot of money at stake.
Over time you will build up quite a list of sites but to get you started there’s a great list on jongales.com of known content farms and spam sites. The list has been updated a few times and also links to a Google search for the site so it’s easy then to add the site to your own blocklist.
It’s extensions like Personal Blocklist that have made me switch to Chrome as my primary browser. Fast and stable and doesn’t chew up every available bit of ram unlike Safari.