Google allows users to block sites in search results
Google is now allowing users to block websites they don't want to see in search results.
The feature, announced and rolled out Thursday, adds a list of blocked sites to a user's Google account.
The feature, Google said, will enable users to block sites they find offensive or low quality or that they simply don't like.
When a user returns to a page of search results on Google.com after clicking through to a link they didn't like, the option to block that domain will appear at the bottom of the search result along with the normal options of "cached" and "similar."
"Once you click the link to 'Block all example.com results' you'll get a confirmation message, as well as the option to undo your choice," wrote Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang, Google search quality engineers, in a blog post. "You'll see the link whether or not you're signed in, but the domains you block are connected with your Google Account, so you'll need to sign in before you can confirm a block."
After a domain is blocked, it won't show up in future search results, as long as a person is logged into their Google account.
Blocking of domains can't be confirmed if a user isn't logged into their Google account.
"The next time you're searching and a blocked page would have appeared, you'll see a message telling you results have been blocked, making it easy to manage your personal list of blocked sites," Champaneria and Yang wrote. "This message will appear at the top or bottom of the results page depending on the relevance of the blocked pages."
Google said it is not looking at the number of people who block any specific websites from their search results while determining ranking in Google.com's search results.
But, "we'll look at the data and see whether it would be useful as we continue to evaluate and improve our search results in the future," Champaneria and Yang wrote.
The site-blocking feature is only available in English search results and was added to Google's Chrome browser on Thursday morning (version 9 or newer) and will be added to Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and newer and Firefox 3.5 and newer versions Thursday and Friday.
Other languages and browsers will be added soon, Google said.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Images: Screenshots of the process to block a website using Google.com's blocked sites feature. Credit: Google