Google Urges Users to Join Fight Against Spam

Now you can take the fight against content farms into your own hands.

Google, which recently tweaked its algorithm in an effort to weed out low-quality content, is enlisting users in the fight against search spam. The company announced on Thursday (March 10) that users now have the option to block specific sites from their searches.

Going forward, when users click on Google search links and then end up returning to the search results page, they’ll encounter a new link, which reads: “Block all [of X site’s] results.” If they choose to block that site, it will no longer appear in future search results.

“Sometimes you may dislike [a] site in general, whether it’s offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality,” wrote Google search engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang in a blog post. “For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. We’re adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google.”

Google also plans to examine the impact of the site-blocking option—and it might use the data derived to tweak its search results down the road. However, it’s a big, open question how many users will even notice the new links or will elect to take the time to proactively clean up future searches.