Ready for do-it-yourself spam fighting? Google has discussed giving searchers the ability to remove domains from its search results. That’s according to Matt Cutts, Google’s top spam fighter, who’s been posting frequently in a Hacker News discussion about Google’s search quality/spam blog post from Friday morning.
In the discussion, Hacker News user “bradly” asks if Google would consider letting searchers remove domains from search results themselves. Cutts replies, “we’ve definitely discussed this,” and seems to hint that some kind of announcement may be on the way:
Can you speak about the possibility for personal domain blacklists for Google accounts? I know giving users the option to remove sites from their own search results is talked about a lot in these HN threads. Is there any talk internally about implementing something like this?
[Matt's reply] We’ve definitely discussed this. Our policy in search quality is not to pre-announce things before they launch. If we offer an experiment along those lines, I’ll be among the first to show up here and let people know about it. :)
Google’s SearchWiki feature previously allowed users to do something similar, but SearchWiki edits were done at the page and keyword level; you could remove individual pages from the search results for certain keywords. Even though Google shut down SearchWiki last March, any results you removed while it was active are still preserved to this day in your Google account.
But the conversation above sounds more comprehensive than what SearchWiki offered. The question — and Cutts’ reply — suggests that users could make domain blacklists that apply across-the-board to any keyword.
The Hacker News thread also includes a couple other possibly newsworthy items, with Cutts saying that Google is working on algorithmic solutions to fight Amazon Web Services clones and Stack Overflow clones.