Chrome extension blocks low-quality content from web searches
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Google has developed a new add-on for its Chrome web browser that enables searchers to block "content farms" and sites that contain low-quality content.
Web searchers are already using the extension to block sites such as Yahoo! Answers, eHOW and Answers.com from their search results.
These sites, often dubbed "content farms," use enhanced search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the visibility of their pages in web search rankings but often contain endless amounts of mass-produced, low-quality content.
In the past Google has tried to combat this type of "search spam" with complex search algorithms, but a recent influx of search spam (a large proportion of which is coming from content farms) has resulted in the company taking extra measures to enhance its anti-spam efforts.
Google will study how consumers use the Chrome extension, essentially crowd-sourcing searchers' lists of blocked website domains, to help reduce spam in its regular search results.
"If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results," wrote principal engineer Matt Cutts in a February 14 blog post.
Google's Personal Blocklist extension can be downloaded from here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nolijncfnkgaikbjbdaogikpmpbdcdef
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