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Did Google just crowdsource webspam removal?

March 10, 2011: 6:44 PM ET

Google could use the new personal search blocks to better its search algorithms globally.

Google (GOOGtoday announced that it would allow all users to block certain sites that that they didn't want to appear in their search results.  This is a great tool for eliminating bad search results.

You've probably had the experience where you've clicked a result and it wasn't quite what you were looking for. Many times you'll head right back to Google. Perhaps the result just wasn't quite right, but sometimes you may dislike the site in general, whether it's offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality. For times like these, you'll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you'll find a new link next to "Cached" that reads "Block all example.com results." Once you click the link to "Block all example.com results" you'll get a confirmation message, as well as the option to undo your choice. You'll see the link whether or not you're signed in, but the domains you block are connected with your Google Account, so you'll need to sign in before you can confirm a block.

What was a Chrome extension last month is now available to all Google users.

I've been doing this for weeks with a Chrome extension that Google provided last month.  It definitely does clean up my search results.  For instance, there are a lot of sites that scrape my posts here at Fortune or elsewhere.  When I'm looking to go back and reference a previous post and need to find it in a Google search, sometimes scraped content shows up above Fortune (that's another story) results.  Now, I can kill the scrapers once and for all...at least until the authors dream up more domains to use as scrapers.  It is a cat and mouse game – now Google has the upper hand.

But, that's just half of the equation.

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