Google could use the new personal search blocks to better its search algorithms globally.
Google (GOOG) today 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.
An algorithm change in Google's search will affect almost 12% of searches by cutting out low quality content, or "content farms".
On the Google Blog and simultaneously expanded upon by Danny Sullivan, Google (GOOG) engineers Matt Cutts and Amit Singhal reported that the company has made significant changes to its search algorithm which would change almost 12% of its results.
Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few MORESeth Weintraub - Feb 25, 2011 8:19 AM ET
Here's the video with Google's Matt Cutts and Microsoft's Harry Shum 'discussing' the recent Bing copying Google allegations.
This is about as interesting as it gets in search engines folks.
The talk is from this week's Big Think Farsight 2011 - Beyond the Search Box event. In one corner, you have Google's (GOOG) web spam fighter Matt Cutts. In the other corner, you have Microsoft (MSFT) researcher Harry Shum. Computer Science professor and researcher MORESeth Weintraub - Feb 4, 2011 2:11 AM ET
Matt Cutts, who heads the webspam team at Google (GOOG), today announced a change to Google's search algorithm which aims to improve results and reward sites which contribute original content to the Internet. Sites that scrape or copy other sites' content will be demoted.
From the post, it sounds like the change is a small one but, if successful in meeting its objectives, could be followed by more significant changes:Seth Weintraub - Jan 28, 2011 1:27 PM ET
Spam sites are mostly benefiting from Adsense advertising...and so is Google.
Today, Google's (GOOG) Matt Cutts blogged that they were aware of the recent complaints about spammy search results and were taking actions to correct them. But complaints aren't just that Google is showing spammy sites in the search results. There is concern that the reason those spam sites are showing up higher than the original content they are reproducing is MORESeth Weintraub - Jan 21, 2011 3:46 PM ET
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