Google: Exploring User Feedback As Ranking Signal Via Chrome Extension

Feb 15, 2011 • 8:58 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Hammer Mario VersionGoogle announced a new Chrome extension named Personal Blocklist that enables Chrome users to block search results they do not want to see come up in the future.

The neat part is not the blocking of the search results, that isn't really anything new. The new and neat thing is that Google, for the first time, is admitting to using such a blocking feature towards their ranking algorithm. Well, they said they would explore using such a feature in their ranking algorithms. So if you block this site and thousands of others block this site, Google may raise a red flag and use that as a ranking signal.

Google's Matt Cutts wrote, "One of the signals we're exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, 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."

So how does it work?

(1) Install it using Chrome over here.

(2) Search Google and if you see something you don't like, then block it using the block link:

looks like this

Yep, that simple. But if you ever want the results page, you need to go to the extension preferences or click "show" at the bottom of the Google search results when you see results were blocked by this extension:

some results were removed

Then a list of blocked results will come up.

edit blocked sites

Of course, like any human backed search quality metric - it can be abused. So don't think you need to tell Google that. I am sure they get it.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help, WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help.

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Simon Gelfand

02/15/2011 02:12 pm

Interesting to hear who you are going to block, if at all ?

Barry Schwartz

02/15/2011 02:18 pm

I don't plan on using it.


02/15/2011 02:20 pm

This is a really positive move. Hopefully the algorithm is clever enough to notice when somebody is trying to manipulate it by blocking competitors' pages (pour example). The more Google moves towards a natural index driven by what the user wants, the better.


02/15/2011 03:37 pm

This might not be the best solution to spam but it is definitely a step in the right direction. It's almost impossible to counter spam with nothing but algorithms. Eventually you will need some user input.


02/15/2011 05:26 pm

I have never found any human feedback system to be unbiased and helpful when it comes to website reviews - good or bad - I find that even location and service reviews are suspect - I've seen competing brick and mortar businesses get online and load a competitors review section with complaints and bad raps and have it take weeks to months just to get the source to reply on how to remove that junk or challenge the post and many other sites never take the junk down - in real life we are not allowed to do this - you don't show up at the mall and write on their walls about JC Penny's or any other store in the mall - good or bad things about them - and if you write bad things about them on their walls you will be held accountable and your real identity would be sought out and challenged - I have never seen the human injected web style review process as common sensible or long term sustainable - the day will come when a lawsuit will be won for defamation and culpability in the process and act of that by the site that allows the post - it is just a matter of time and circumstance. I think this one Google is suggesting is ridiculous in it's propensity for abuse as much as they have found out back links and se spam has been - but this is much more easily manipulated and probable to be farmed out to low wage offshore services - think "page hits" and all the sources still pushing the click view services .... hire a couple hundred cheap desktops behind proxy's to vote your competitor off the web - nah - no a good idea. We need more innovative and practical methods please ....

Rob Griggs

02/15/2011 07:05 pm

I think it is a step in the right direction. Obviously they are not going to look at one or two instances of someone blocking a site but if they see that there are large numbers blocking it then it will no doubt flag the site and warrant a manual review to find out why.

Voiture occasion

02/16/2011 04:19 am

What happen if suppose i block my competitors site with multiple ip address? Does google will block my competitors?

Neuro SEO India

02/16/2011 06:41 am

You are sharing it too late buddy. I hope lots of people already installed it through Google official blog.

website design company

02/17/2011 01:30 am

It would be a good idea for you to not visito that site anymore for safety purposes. And im looking forward to try it soon. Personal Blacklist would certainly be very helpful, especially for those using Chrome.

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