Google allows users to block sites from search results

11 Mar 2011

Google has introduced a new feature that will enable users to block sites they don’t want to see – sites that could be offensive or inappropriate, for example – from search results.

The new feature is rolling out today and tomorrow on in English for people using Chrome 9+, IE8+ and Firefox 3.5+ browsers.

From now on, when users conduct a search they’ll see a new feature ‘Block all […] results’ next to the ‘Cached’ button. If something appears in a search result users no longer wish to see, they can hit the ‘Block …’ command and they will get a confirmation message as well as the option to undo their choice.

The domains users block are connected with their Google account so they’ll need to be logged in before they confirm a block.

More structured search?

Once users have blocked a domain, they won’t see it in future search results.

The next time users are searching and a blocked page would have appeared, they will see a message telling them results have been blocked, making it easy to manage their personal list of blocked sites. They can see a list of their blocked sites in a new settings page, which they can access by visiting their Search Settings or clicking on the ‘Manage blocked sites’ link that appears when users block a domain.

“We’re adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalised and enjoyable experience on Google,” explained Amay Champaneria, search quality engineer.

“In addition, while we’re not currently using the domains people block as a signal in ranking, 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 said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years