What if you could tell Google, “This site is crap”

by Phil Buckley on February 19, 2011

in Search

When Google announced that they would accept direct feedback from users about low-quality sites, it was a breath of fresh air. If you’re using Google’s Chrome browser you can start using the Personal Blocklist extension to block results you don’t want to see anymore.

The best part of this particular Google experiment is that it’s the very first time Google is admitting that they will be using the blocking data towards how they rank those sites.

So if you and thousands or even millions of others block the same site, Google will take that into account when they decide where that site should show up in the search result pages.

Google Chrome's Personal Blocklist feature screengrab

The interesting part is when some people try to get their competitors whacked, or when a special interest group calls on it’s membership to rally and block a site.

What if the Democrats called on their members to block the Republican’s sites? What if Greenpeace asked it’s followers to block Mobil’s site?

What sites will you be blocking?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joshua S Sweeney February 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

“What if the Democrats called on their members to block the Republican’s sites? What if Greenpeace asked it’s followers to block Mobil’s site?”

A good question. We saw a similar thing on Digg with groups who were organizing their members to block any political stories they disagreed with from reaching the front page. There have also been rumblings recently from political pundits who claim Google is “editorializing” their search results towards one end or the other of the political spectrum. I would very much like to see the mechanism behind this to see what safeguards they have in place to keep their search results honest.

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Phil Buckley February 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Yea, any site that lives by crowdsourcing is vulnerable to the masses taking over.

Funny that I just heard a story on the news today about the US government looking for companies to help them create software to manage “fake people” on social media sites to create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues.

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