Feeds

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

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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.