Google's website browser, known as Google Chrome, now allows search engine users to block low-quality websites from its search results page.
This will likely be one of many new ways that Google will respond to user complaints of spam websites. It is also a likely response to new kid on the block, Blekko (http://www.blekko.com), which aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites, mostly through user participation.
The tool, called the Personal Blocklist extension, can be downloaded directly from the Google Chrome web store. Once downloaded, Chrome users can decide which web pages they want to block from the search results pages that they view. Those decisions are automatically sent to Google for review.
If a Google Chrome user finds that that the results obtained from a particular website found through a Google search are not up to par in terms of quality, or if the content has been copied from another site, the user can click on a link to block that website from appearing in future search engine results pages. When a user blocks a website, a signal is automatically sent to Google.
Google will study this feedback and if it finds that certain sites are being blocked repeatedly, they may decide to block the site from their search results entirely. Users also have the ability to check their list of blocked sites by clicking on the extension icon on the top right hand of the Chrome window. Users can also unblock a blocked site if he or she wishes to as well.
This new extension reflects a conscious effort on the part of Google to reduce spam in their search results. Specifically, it aims to shut down content farms, which are sites that host lots of content that is merely duplicated from other sites or has little or no value on its own.
This Google Chrome extension is still in its early testing stages and is currently available in various languages, including English.
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