Feeds

Google adds tool to block shabby, dirty, vulgar sites from search results

It's not you, it's me: Self-censorship in action

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has switched on a tool that allows web surfers to block searches for sites they don't want to see pop up on the results page.

The stealth algorithm rejig is the latest in a series of changes the Mountain View Chocolate Factory has recently made to its lucrative search estate.

"Now there’s yet another way to find more of what you want on Google by blocking the sites you don’t want to see," said Google's so-called "search quality engineers" Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang in a blog post yesterday.

Accordingly, the company insisted that the latest tweak was all about empowering the user of its search site.

"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," said Champaneria and Yang.

"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."

Chillingly for fans of the "free web", that's a statement which suggests Google might yet further refine its search function to effectively whitewash its search results.

So far the feature will only be rolled out to google.com in English for anyone using Chrome 9+, Internet Explorer 8+ and Firefox 3.5+, said the company. It plans to push the algorithm change to other browsers, regions and languages soon.

Surfers need to have a Google account in order to use the tool to kill references to "offensive, pornographic" or "low quality" sites.

Earlier this week, Google penalised its own newly acquired UK price comparison site BeatThatQuote.com, after the firm was found to be violating Mountain View's guidelines about linking.

Last month it made a major change to its search algorithms in order to try to scrub more link farm results from appearing near the top of search results. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.