Google Chrome's Personal Blocklist can remove sites from Google search results
Google rolled out a new extension for its Chrome Web browser that allows users to block specific websites from showing up in Google search results.
The free download is called Personal Blocklist and, when installed, adds an option underneath search results to block a website. If a user clicks the block option, Chrome block any results from that specific domain.
"We've been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content," wrote Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google, in a blog post announcing the option.
The extension sends information about the blocked site to Google and the feedback on blocking could potentially affect Google's ranking system for search results, Cutts said.
A list of blocked sites is saved in Chrome, making it fairly easy to unblock a website if a user so decides, and a link to that list shows up at the bottom of Google's search results when the extension is installed.
The extension, though now available to the public, is still "an early test" and an "experiment" and Google is monitoring its usage and effectiveness, Cutts said.
Personal Blocklist is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish, Cutts said.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Images: Screenshots from Google search results in Google's Chrome browser with the Personal Blocklist extension installed. Credit: Google