Google: Exploring User Feedback As Ranking Signal Via Chrome Extension

Feb 15, 2011 • 8:58 am | comments (9) by | 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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