New: Block Sites From Google Results Using Chrome’s “Personal Blocklist”

delete-buttonGoogle has announced that a new way to block certain sites from appearing in Google’s search results, though a special Google-made Chrome browser extension named Personal Blocklist.

Using Personal Blocklist

How do you use Personal Blocklist?

(1) Download and install the extension over here. You will need Chrome.

(2) When you are viewing search results on Google, you can then click “block URL” under the search result:

(3) When a set of search results is impacted by this choice, Google will tell you at the bottom of the search results. The warning Google gives you reads “some results were removed by the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension” and is followed by a “show” button that will take you to the management of that blocklist:

some results were removed

(4) You can manage the blocklist by clicking “show” in the screenshot above or by editing the extension in preferences:

edit blocked sites

Group Wisdom For Blocking?

While Personal Blocklist is designed to allow individuals to build up their own unique blocklists, Google says it may use the data to influence the search results for others. From its announcement:

The extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.”

Google also said this is an early test and is only available now on Chrome and English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish languages.

Previous Blocking On Google

It was known that the Chrome extension was coming but, Google has had other forms of blocking search results in the past. This came in the form of stars in search results, before that via SearchWiki, up and down arrows, and many more methods of removing search results in the past. Will this stick? I assume so, at least in the form of a Chrome extension.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: Before people get too excited about Google “crowdsourcing” a way to block sites, it’s worth remembering that it never seemed to do that with SearchWiki, much less with the voting options that it added to the Google Toolbar back in 2001. Yes, 2001 — 10 years ago. Any of this from the article back at the time sound familiar:

Whether it works or not, Google’s effort is one of the boldest attempts so far to combat the rising tide of commercialism among search engines and portals.

Two weeks ago, Google began quietly testing a Web page voting system that, for the first time on a large scale, could eventually let Web surfers help determine the popularity of sites ranked by the company’s search engine.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Chrome | Google: Web Search | Google: Webmaster Central | 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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  • Harith

    “the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.”

    As I mentioned today on Twitter: Imagine this. You hire 1000 students in India to install Chrome blocking extension and use it to block your compititor ;-)

  • Jaan Kanellis

    The days of hand editing SERPs has officially began for Google. Sure they have obviously done that in the past, but this looks to be a quest to be more aggressive in this area.

  • businessmanau

    More evidence that Google is losing it and their staff are out of control!
    This is just another badly conceived Google idea that will result in the development of another “lets spam Google” industry (eg. Block your Competitor) to add to the last one. Businesses will no doubt make it their task to block competitor sites regardless of whether they’re spam or not.
    How would normal consumers know what is a spam site? Only SEOs, web focused businesses, IT people, those with an agenda and those who can keep up with all this Google BS that will understand how to manipulate Google and the ramifications to legitimate businesses.
    Google propeller heads keep thinking up stupid ideas that are open to spam or results manipulation.
    Google needs to get back to basics instead of continuing to overcomplicate their algorithms. Their programmers may be logical when writing software, but they obviously have no business logic when it comes to providing accurate search results.
    Someone needs to take charge at Google and think the brainrants through properly before developing and releasing them.

  • Michael Martinez

    I think this is more of a people please than anything else. Sort of like a fake temperature control mounted on the wall in a large room with a lot of employees. Let them adjust it to their heart’s content. They’ll get a sense of being in control and the building maintenance people can go back to doing their jobs.

    But no serious search optimizer will want to filter results out of their browser. We all just have to know who else is ranking and where.

  • Zippy Cart

    It does kind of seem like Google is running around like a chicken with its head chopped off, just grasping at any straw to stay current and competitive (or at least to seem competitive and stay in the news). What the ultimate point of all their latests efforts are, I can’t speculate. I will agree, however, that Google does need a firm direction and a focus on fundamentals instead of a bunch of gimmicks.

  • Seemyspots

    This move is just another step in the long path of Google presenting “better” or more qualified results to its visitors. Google has a brand to protect and it’s primary function is getting visitors to their desired location as quickly and efficiently as possible. Allowing customers to limit sites that they aren’t interested in presents better results – and a chance for sites to improve their respective SERPs rankings.

    I think of it like a Tivo’d ad. “Eye balls” who are interested in the message will pay attention and those who aren’t will just keep moving.

    Of course, this change will present some interesting conversations around the where-am-I-ranking question…..

  • Rick Vidallon

    Maybe Open Directory wasn’t such as bad idea after all?

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