Google may have finally discovered a way to rid the internet once and for all from undesirable search results. The answer: Let its users handle it.
The Official Google Blog on March 10 announced the debut of a new feature that allows you to block all results from any website, simply by clicking a block link in the search result. There is a catch; you need to actually visit the site, determine it’s not for you and then return to Google. At that point, a “block” option will appear. Click it, and you’ll never see that site again, unless you pull it from your “block” cache.
The Google Blog announcement humorously uses the blog of Google’s most popular face, Matt Cutts, to show where the new feature will appear in search results:
Google Search Quality Engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang say that allowing the user to have more control over search results will “provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google.” The designers are quick to add that currently, data on which sites are blocked will not be used to help determine ranking. This is a good thing, because the new feature can be used to simply eliminate pages from ongoing searches when someone needs to access several sites at a time. What’s more, users may choose to block websites that don’t cater to their personal beliefs or interests.
While this seems like a convenient tool at the outset, you have to wonder if it isn’t just Google throwing its hands up when it comes to its goal of “governing” content on the web. It’s unrealistic to think that Google or anybody will ever get complete control over sites they consider to be unsavory. By putting the power in the user’s hands, the argument can be made that Google wants to stop being the moral arbiter of the internet, and concentrate more on search and the scores of other businesses into which its hands are currently occupied.
It will be interesting to see, however, how long Google can resist using “blocked site” information to help determine rankings. In the meantime, try it for yourself the next time you do a search and tell us what you think.
Article written by the Content Manager at TheSEOAgency.com, Tom Tuerff