Google announced the availability a new tool on the Chrome browser that lets users block low-quality websites from their search results pages.
The tool, called the Personal Blocklist extension, can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Web Store.
Once users download the extension for their Chrome browser, they can decide which sites they want to block from the search results pages they view and can communicate these decisions to Google.
Thus, if a user finds that that the results obtained from a particular site are not up to the mark in terms of quality, or they have just been copied from another site, the user can click on a link added by the extension to block that site from appearing in future search engine results pages.
Blocking sites from SERPs using the Chrome Personal Blocklist extension
When a site is blocked, a signal will automatically be sent to Google regarding this. Google will then study the feedback received in this manner. If they find that certain sites are being blocked repeatedly by individuals, they could eventually decide to block the site from their search results entirely.
A user who blocks some sites will be able to check the list of blocked sites by clicking on the extension icon on the top right hand of the Chrome window. The user can also unblock a blocked site if he wishes to.
This extension is an effort by Google to help reduce spam in their search results. It is specifically aimed at content farms, which are sites that host lots of content that is merely duplicated from other sites or is not of much value in and of itself.
The extension is still in the testing stage and is currently available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.
Doomed For SEO / Spam Misuse
In the past, Google has tried to enable users to indicate which websites were good and which ones were bad in the search results. They did this through Google SideWiki and search results customisations. However, the endeavour was mostly used by SEO specialists and spammers. This new tool is more than likely to meet the same fate.
So, unless Google has figured out a really good way to crowd-source policing of the SERPs without opening themselves up to competitive malpractice, the new extension is likely to fail too.