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Google introduces domain blocking

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday March 12, 2011 )

We all have sites we love to hate (or just plain despise) for many and varied reasons. Google has rolled out a feature that allows you to block domains in search query results.

The feature is currently only rolled out on Google.com searches at present – other regions coming soon. You won’t see the blocking option until after you’ve carried out a search, gone to the site in question, then click “back” to the SERPs (search engine result pages). At that point you’ll see a “Block all X results” link; next to the “cached” and “similar” links.

If you’ve accidentally blocked a domain, no sweat – ensuing searches will show links at the top bottom of the SERPs to manage your list of blocked domains. Where it appears will depend on the relevance of the search to the domains you have in your block list.

Google says it won’t be using the data from block lists as a signal in its search ranking algorithm ..yet – but they haven’t closed the door on that being a possibility in the future either.

While on the topic of Google, it appears the recent Google “Farmer” update (February 24), which was meant to target sites with thin and low quality content, inflicted some collateral damage and a thread has been started in Google Webmaster Central where folks can post their gripe.

A bunch of people have posted how the algorithmic tweak has negatively affected them and while there’s some reports on sites that probably deserved the loss in rankings, there are certainly some where it appears the slug was undeserved – based on my understanding of what Google deems to be quality.

For those who were unfairly hit, unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a quick fix. The Googler who started the thread said manual corrections will not be made, but G’s engineers will look at those cases to see what they can learn about refining future revisions to the ranking algorithm.

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