Google: Ability To Block Sites From Search Results Will Return, But When?

The ability to block web sites from search results disappeared when Google’s new Search Plus personalized results format launched this week. Blocking was a feature added with great fanfare last year. Google says it will return, but the timing is uncertain.

How Blocking Worked

Previously, search results had a “Block All” link that appeared below them:

Block Google Results

Selecting that option would cause all pages from the site you blocked to be dropped from your future search results. This option no longer appears.

Return Of Blocking Will Take “Some Time”

We noticed the feature had been dropped earlier this week. Google told us this was a bug, and that they are working on a fix:

We’re still in the process of rolling out Search plus Your World, and we’re also in the process of restoring the block sites feature for users experiencing difficulties.

That’s what we received on Tuesday, and it sounded fairly positive, a short-term problem. But on Thursday, Google Operating System was told:

The right people are looking at what needs to happen to re-enable this, but it might take some time.

Response To Relevancy Complaints

Google released the feature last March, following up on a feature released last February that previously let anyone block sites, but only if they used Google Chrome.

Both came about in the wake of criticisms that Google’s relevancy had decreased, criticisms so severe that Google addressed the issue last January on its official blog. The ability to block sites, along with Google’s Panda Update, were part of that response.

By the way, the Google cached pages link has NOT been removed. Some people have mistakenly thought this in the past few weeks. It was simply moved into the page preview area.

Related Stories:

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Search Customization | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • scott.van.achte

    For work purposes I would not block any sites, however, on my personal computer ehow is definitely one to be blocked! ;-)

  • Thomas Ballantyne

    Google seems to go back and forth on the blocking sites. Once upon a time you had the ability through the tool bar to vote a site up or down. It seems they have integrated a lot of those tool bar functions into other platforms.

  • Larry Stuart

    I don’t know the point of a ‘personalized results’ feature that, instead of reducing spammy search results, ACTUALLY INCREASES them! I had blocked a couple hundred sites, mostly reverse phone number sites, because they offer ZERO information, but only the ‘promise’ of information for a fee ranging from $1.99 to $39.99. The sites that offer access to the real information with out charging a fee get lost back on page 20 or after on the Google Search Results.

    Though Matt Cutts of Google assured that Site Blocking would be reenabled, he said on 1/12/12 that it “would take some time.” It is now 1/29/12 and Google still hasn’t fixed the bug. I would say that since over 6 MILLION Google manhours have passed, it’s taking much more than some time!

    Frankly, unless their intent was to DE-PERSONALIZE results, they should take down SEARCH PLUS until they debug it. Clearly it is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME!!!!

  • Lorin Rivers

    To block sites from your Google search results, go here:

  • Rod Cannon

    This is correct, site blocking is still available, just not as easily.  You have to click 4 times instead of twice!

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