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Goodbye expertsexchange.com
March 11, 2011 4:58 AM   Subscribe

Users may now ban domains from their Google results. After users click through, they may return to Google and ban the entire domain from ever showing up in results again. This comes as part of a general reaction in the context of increasing complaints about Google's search results being spammy.
posted by jaduncan (194 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh thank google!
posted by fuq at 5:03 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was just about to comment "Goodbye expertsexchange" when I clicked though and saw the post title. It was the first thing I did this morning after reading about the new features.
posted by Captain_Science at 5:04 AM on March 11, 2011 [34 favorites]


Yes. I did ban expertsexchange literally 5 seconds after finishing this post. It was cathartic.
posted by jaduncan at 5:05 AM on March 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


Great, now we'll have to worry about fast-flux for SEO and for malware.
posted by Vetinari at 5:06 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


And for the next month, no more content farmers... until they find a new scam.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:06 AM on March 11, 2011


Hooray!
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:07 AM on March 11, 2011


Congratulations! You've lost!
posted by nathancaswell at 5:07 AM on March 11, 2011


I don't think I've ever heard of expersexchange. What the hell are you people googling for to get that?
posted by dobbs at 5:08 AM on March 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Great, now we'll have to worry about fast-flux for SEO and for malware.

If I had to guess I would imagine they'd penalise new domains heavily for youth. This doesn't have quite the same impact as fast-flux for malware because the search engines get to direct the flow of traffic.

Set against that I'd imagine it won't be long before they are also considering the length of existence of the banning accounts before taking the bans into account when considering the strength of the signal for general SERPs.
posted by jaduncan at 5:10 AM on March 11, 2011


Yes. I did ban expertsexchange literally 5 seconds after finishing this post. It was cathartic

FUCK YES
posted by empath at 5:13 AM on March 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


Is there anyway of sharing ban preferences? If the effort was crowd-sourced and curated I think we could get rid of a lot of shitty search results rather quickly and successfully.
posted by lemuring at 5:14 AM on March 11, 2011 [29 favorites]


So it's like AdBlock for Google? WINNING!
(now, can we monkey-fist the email spammers, please?)
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:17 AM on March 11, 2011


Alright, why don't I see this option? Is this more discrimination against Canadians?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:17 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You manually blocked http://answers.yahoo.com for the following reason: Waste of stupid.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:19 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is there anyway of sharing ban preferences? If the effort was crowd-sourced and curated I think we could get rid of a lot of shitty search results rather quickly and successfully.

http://www.google.com/reviews/t is the prefs page and I do see 'download as text file'. This is very very promising.
posted by jaduncan at 5:22 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Goodbye experts-exchange.com!
posted by Stu-Pendous at 5:23 AM on March 11, 2011


Actually, this is not very useful: you need to first visit the page, and then back-history to the search results to turn on the link. There needs to be the ability to "flag" a search result as simple as clicking [!]. There is also no apparently spoint in your google account settings to work with these blocked items, so adding a list from AdBlock is not happening.
So basically version 0.01. And I predict it will never get out of "google beta" and get dropped in a while because some jackass will (a) complain or (b) game it and ruin it.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:23 AM on March 11, 2011


Oh how I fucking wish this would work for me. I'm logged into an account and all, and nothing I do seems to give me that magic bannination link. CURSE YOU AND YOUR TEASING GOOGLE! DAMN YOUR GOOGLEY EYES!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:25 AM on March 11, 2011


stavrosthewonderchicken and Old'n'Busted: does http://www.google.com/reviews/t not work for you?
posted by jaduncan at 5:27 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen expertsexchange in months. Stack Overflow always seems to be near the top. Maybe Google can tell I always clicked one site instead of the other and now personalized my results to be un-annoying.
posted by Plutor at 5:27 AM on March 11, 2011


They're rolling it out over the next few days, so I wouldn't worry if it isn't showing up for you yet.

Actually, this is not very useful: you need to first visit the page, and then back-history to the search results to turn on the link.

What a terrible ordeal that's going to be for you.
posted by timdicator at 5:33 AM on March 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


It looks like you can just go straight to jaduncan's link if you don't want to also search first.
posted by odinsdream at 5:36 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm not seeing how to do this. Do you need a google account? Because if so, I sense Google's evilness approaching even closer.
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alright, why don't I see this option? Is this more discrimination against Canadians?

I just tried it and got the extra 'block all results from example.com' link after coming back from visiting the site in question. And I'm in Canada. But, I think at some point I did that thing that lets me stay on google.com instead of being redirected to google.ca all the time. Also, I noticed that block link doesn't appear for those fancy search results that give you a bunch of headings from the site underneath.
posted by FishBike at 5:37 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm putting in names of obscure film actors and blocking all the bogus "filmography" sites I find. Whee!
posted by gubo at 5:37 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is timely, as I've been wondering how to search for things without getting those idiotic content mill sites like ehow and about.com. If I want to read the half-assed "content" generated by sad pieceworkers, I can go to those sites, but any time I enter a simple query, I have to swim through a million completely unilluminating ehow postings or various forum conversations where stupid people flail around, utterly failing to say anything relevant to the question.

I hope this works.
posted by sonascope at 5:38 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nth on getting rid of ExpertSexChange. Next is getting rid of all the Stack Overflow content aggregators.
posted by CaseyB at 5:40 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The difference between being a tech nerd or an nerd: whether your loathing is reserved for StackOverflow or EHow.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:43 AM on March 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


What is even better is watching that Experts-Exchange link disappear in a puff of smoke. Nice flourish, Google!
posted by charred husk at 5:44 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm not seeing how to do this. Do you need a google account? Because if so, I sense Google's evilness approaching even closer.

How else do you expect them to keep your preferences?

It's like you're asking the barkeep to remember your favorite drink, but stop looking at my face!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:45 AM on March 11, 2011 [49 favorites]


Delmoi, if you want to do it without an Google account and you use Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/customizegoogle/ can do this for you without a Google account (and indeed can randomise your cookie whilst maintaining prefs). You may pick your poison - this is obviously limited to one computer at a time.
posted by jaduncan at 5:49 AM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


By the way, my wife just told me the real power of this: block shopping.com.

…and now product searches have become useful again.

This is fiendishly fucking awesome. Go Goog!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops. I mean DU, obviously.
posted by jaduncan at 5:50 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm not seeing how to do this. Do you need a google account? Because if so, I sense Google's evilness approaching even closer.

Oh come on.
posted by odinsdream at 5:51 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


My personal test: enter a U.S. phone number, 10-digits. Without even personally blocking any sites, the first page now turns up real information. No linkfarms or shamshops at all. Thanks for fixing yourself, google!
posted by yesster at 5:51 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


How else do you expect them to keep your preferences?

Cookies.

http://www.google.com/reviews/t

Where did you find this? I didn't see a link to it in my Google Account or Preferences section.

What a terrible ordeal that's going to be for you.

Actually, yes. If I know ahead of time that the site in the list is crap, I do NOT want to visit it first (pop-unders and drive-by shit etc); I want to filter it out NOW without giving them any more traffic or run a unneeded risk. This navigating back-and-forth is a counter-intuitive action, and falls under the "user excise tax" UI design rule.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:51 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just as an FYI, ExpertsExchange (when accessed from a google search) will have the answers to the question below the footer. You won't be able to link here, though. I've been helped a few times by this knowledge.
posted by jangie at 5:55 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where did you find this? I didn't see a link to it in my Google Account or Preferences section.

When you block a site, a "manage blocked sites" link appears, and that URL is where it goes.
posted by FishBike at 5:55 AM on March 11, 2011


ExpertsExchange is actually fairly useful once you realize that the "hidden solution you have to pay to see" thing is a BIG FAT RUSE and that you can actually read the entire discussion for free by simply scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:56 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Where did you find this? I didn't see a link to it in my Google Account or Preferences section.

It's where the "Manage" link next to a just-blocked result takes you. Assuming people like this feature and use it heavily, they'll probably add a proper link to it in your account preferences and pretty it up some more. It's fairly simple right now.
posted by odinsdream at 5:56 AM on March 11, 2011


ExpertsExchange is actually fairly useful once you realize that the "hidden solution you have to pay to see" thing is a BIG FAT RUSE and that you can actually read the entire discussion for free by simply scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Yeah, it's just full of idiots and far inferior to Stack Exchange. YMMV, of course.
posted by jaduncan at 5:57 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


ExpertsExchange is actually fairly useful once you realize that the "hidden solution you have to pay to see" thing is a BIG FAT RUSE and that you can actually read the entire discussion for free by simply scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

Under some weird reading of Google's rules, though, they attempt to block this on subsequent views of the same page.
posted by odinsdream at 5:58 AM on March 11, 2011


What, you want everyone to get amateur sex changes? That doesn't sound safe.

Seriously though, this is a good thing that could be a lot better.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:58 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to filter it out NOW without giving them any more traffic or run a unneeded risk. This navigating back-and-forth is a counter-intuitive action, and falls under the "user excise tax" UI design rule.

Which you can do right now, with the links provided already in this thread.
posted by odinsdream at 5:58 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there anyway of sharing ban preferences? If the effort was crowd-sourced and curated I think we could get rid of a lot of shitty search results rather quickly and successfully.

Google tends to avoid anything curated, but they will use the information algorithmically as a ranking signal. Once x% of users block eHow, it'll almost certainly disappear for good.

Obviously they're more than aware of all of the awful content farms, but they really, really don't like editing their results manually.
posted by graphnerd at 5:59 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, yes. If I know ahead of time that the site in the list is crap, I do NOT want to visit it first (pop-unders and drive-by shit etc); I want to filter it out NOW without giving them any more traffic or run a unneeded risk. This navigating back-and-forth is a counter-intuitive action, and falls under the "user excise tax" UI design rule.

I strongly suspect that they want you to actually look at the result before dismissing it. Remeber that it openly says this will affect SERPS; signal to noise is important. If you're worried about it, just wait. Onceit is established that the internets hates it the result will probably disappear for you too.
posted by jaduncan at 6:01 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


How else do you expect them to keep your preferences?

Cookies are too hard?

Requiring an account is just another step towards Google harvesting everything about everyone. There's absolutely no reason in the world this needs to be tied to a user account.
posted by DU at 6:03 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cookies are too hard?

Requiring an account is just another step towards Google harvesting everything about everyone. There's absolutely no reason in the world this needs to be tied to a user account.


Well here's one for basic research. On logging out and doing it the banning still works.
posted by jaduncan at 6:05 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm going to file this under "build a better mouse trap and someone will design a better mouse."
posted by dry white toast at 6:06 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can imagine the counter-escalation. Spammers register new domains and build entire websites in response to my searches.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:09 AM on March 11, 2011


Requiring an account is just another step towards Google harvesting everything about everyone. There's absolutely no reason in the world this needs to be tied to a user account.

Except that cookies are tied to a specific user of a specific browser installation. I don't want to have to re-block the same sites repeatedly on every computer and every browser I use. And I don't want to lose all my blocked sites if I clear cookies or something. Plus that could end up being a hell of a lot of information to store in cookies and send to Google with every http request.

Ok, so presumably they'd keep the actual list on their server and just store a key to it in a cookie on my browser. So how do I get the same key on all my computers and browsers? They need some way for me to tell them "hi, it's me again" and I'd rather not have just anyone on the Internet be able to impersonate me and see/change my blocked sites list. So I need a password, not just something like entering my e-mail address, to prove it's me.

Server-side storage of preferences plus an identification and authentication mechanism sure sounds like having an account, doesn't it?
posted by FishBike at 6:09 AM on March 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


So...This is something you will need to be logged-in to a Google account to set as a preference? As opposed to being in their general search preferences (like turning on/off SafeSearch, language prefs, etc.) which simply set a cookie and don't require one being logged-in.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:16 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except that cookies are tied to a specific user of a specific browser installation.
As I just noted, many of one's search preferences don't require a Google account, or that you be logged-in to one.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:17 AM on March 11, 2011


Strangely, this blocking seems to be at least partially cookie-based, not account-based. I'm logged into the same account in safari and firefox; blocked a site in FF but it's still showing up in safari results.

(Also odd that it's not possible to block sites in safari; the 'block this site' link never appears, and even if you go to the http://www.google.com/reviews/t url to do it manually, the blocked sites continue to appear in search results.
posted by ook at 6:18 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to filter it out NOW without giving them any more traffic or run a unneeded risk

Just realized you folks must not be using Chrome. If you are, why don't you have the extension plugged in yet? Adds a link to every search result.
posted by yerfatma at 6:20 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The basic google search prefs work with just cookies. But they also disappear rather frequently (in my experience). That is fine for the three options you have there, not fine for a possibly extensive list of URLs.
posted by _Lasar at 6:21 AM on March 11, 2011


Limited to 500 entries in your block list, so make sure that the blocked site is the root domain, and not just one of multitudes of sub-domains.
posted by yesster at 6:24 AM on March 11, 2011


I've been waiting for this, Google, ever since your detestable Search Wiki. Now we can get rid of results that are ACTUAL trash like Bigg__Resource, Daily Re\/iewer and Fix_ Ya on our own. Hooray.

Not understanding the ire regarding Experts Exchange. I've found solutions there that I could find no where else on the web, and they consistently have the correct answer with multiple solutions, pointers and advice that I've seen nowhere else. Is it the pay wall that makes you mad, the fact that the answer is RIGHT THERE but you're too cheap or ignorant to get access to it? Anyone can easily install a greasemonkey script or just frigging scroll to the bottom of the page or check out the Google Cache link. Why not be mad at Metafilter for demanding $5?

And people complaining about possibly having to have an account - don't fucking use it! Jesus. Make your own fucking search engine.
posted by dozo at 6:25 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there anyway of sharing ban preferences?

Why do you think they offered this in the first place? They know their reputation is hurting because of the link farmers. And the last thing Google wants is to lose eyeballs from their search results and ads… I mean, that's their bottom line.

This was a devilishly brilliant move by Google. In one fell swoop they've gotten people to submit their custom URL blacklists to them. And unlike Ad Blockers or hosts file blacklists, which prevent you from using a site entirely, this just removes them from the search results. So I can still use shopping.com's awful POS website, but now I can avoid getting their reams and reams of search flotsam in my queries.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:26 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I blocked eHow! I got tingles.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:28 AM on March 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


I thought they had this quite a while ago -- I distinctly remember, around a year ago, there being a "X" next to search results and when you clicked it those pages disappeared from your results. Was I inadvertently betatested upon? I really liked that at the time, I had forgotten about it. Now that it exists, for reals, I'm happy. Plus, if it's tied to your Google Account, I can do it at all 5 of my gmail logins and quintuple my influence!
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:29 AM on March 11, 2011


Can't this also be used to remove legit sites? What's to stop a bunch of idiots from blocking Planned Parenthood? If Google's going to use the info to shape their results, that would have an affect beyond the specific idiots.
posted by OmieWise at 6:30 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's to stop a bunch of idiots from blocking Planned Parenthood?

Presumably Google is going to do some human checking of the blocked sites for spamminess, malware, content-farming, etc. If there's one thing Google understands it's that people will try to game everything.
posted by jedicus at 6:32 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beyond eHow and experts-exchange, what are some of the other sites people are blocking?
posted by thewittyname at 6:32 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


How I would love to get stats on the top ten blocked sites from the initial onrush of users doing this.

n'thing the above though, first and last time I've specifically searched for "experts exchange" - I'm not going to lie that I let slip a little maniacal laugh as I blocked that site for good...
posted by mincus at 6:32 AM on March 11, 2011


Which you can do right now, with the links provided already in this thread.

And explain to me, exactly, how the a non-metafilter, non-techy, typical google user (like my wife) would know to do this? I want to be able to give her an easy-to-user thing to clear out the shit that clutters up her arts- and crafts- related searches. Hiding functionality is a poor design choice, simple as that.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:32 AM on March 11, 2011


Thank you Jeebus!
posted by etherist at 6:33 AM on March 11, 2011


Beyond eHow and experts-exchange, what are some of the other sites people are blocking?

Here's a handy list of content farms to block.
posted by jedicus at 6:33 AM on March 11, 2011 [23 favorites]


Can't this also be used to remove legit sites? What's to stop a bunch of idiots from blocking Planned Parenthood? If Google's going to use the info to shape their results, that would have an affect beyond the specific idiots.

I worry about this too. It's only a matter of time (and not very much time, I bet) before somebody tries to game this to bury their competitors in the search results. But I also have to think that Google have though of this possibility and have some kind of a solution in mind for it.
posted by FishBike at 6:34 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


And why would you want to block information about an "expert sex change?" Do you want an inexpert one?
posted by etherist at 6:34 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does this block sites at the single user level? That's what it seems like.

Not using the wisdom of crowds to act like a spam filter. So I think all these concerns abour blocking Planned Parenthood are over-wrought.
posted by etherist at 6:35 AM on March 11, 2011


Google does say they're going to be looking at what people block and using that to help improve their own search results over time... But I have the feeling that's not going to be a mass scrape of results and then suddenly blocking everything. So yeah, fears are over-wrought.
posted by hippybear at 6:38 AM on March 11, 2011


"Goodbye expertsexchange"

This site was the example given by the google blacklist plugin which I had been using, but as others have pointed out, the answer they want you to subscribe for is always available down beneath the message that you need to subscribe. I learned this from a FPP many months ago! (though I can't remember which one at the moment.--it was an example of a kind of misleading site.)

So, how does google's built-in compare to the plug in I was using?
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:38 AM on March 11, 2011


Not using the wisdom of crowds to act like a spam filter

From the google blog post:

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.

So they're presumably going to treat this the way the mods here treat flagged comments: sites that get blocked frequently will get some human review to decide whether they're spam or just controversial.
posted by ook at 6:38 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I don't know if I want to waste one of my 500 on Conservapedia when I've never actually seen it turn up in one of my searches.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:41 AM on March 11, 2011


If you have the Chrome extension, you can export/import the block list.
posted by jiroczech at 6:42 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cookies are too hard?

Requiring an account is just another step towards Google harvesting everything about everyone.


We're there. There are no more steps.
posted by LarryC at 6:45 AM on March 11, 2011


I know I've harped on this before, but it really bugs me. It used to be that google was useful for finding out what business is associated with a given phone number. It doesn't work for that anymore. So for my block list, I'm entering known valid phone numbers for legitimate businesses, and blocking any and all sites that aren't (a) owned by that business, (b) legitimate reviews of the business, or (c) casual legitimate references in blogs, etc. Fuck those spammy fuckers with "whoiscallingme.com" and "freereverselookup.com" and all those other fuckers that actually get in the way of useful results. Die in fire.
posted by yesster at 6:47 AM on March 11, 2011 [7 favorites]



What's to stop a bunch of idiots from blocking Planned Parenthood?


Nothing, and I think that's fine. If you don't want to see PP, this lets you avoid it on your own computer. The issue would be if Google said, "hey, 20,000 users blocked PP, so let's add them to the spam list!", but honestly I think the chances of that happening are really minimal.

As someone who has a google account (for email) but doesn't stay logged in, I also wish this was cookie-based, but I understand how frustrating that would be to someone who uses a google account to simplify cross-computer use. I think that either way it was implemented, a bunch of people will complain, and this approach is probably the least irritating to the most people.
posted by Forktine at 6:50 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing, and I think that's fine. If you don't want to see PP, this lets you avoid it on your own computer.

Actually (although I didn't put it in the post) one of the things I found interesting about this was how it ties in to the internet as echo chamber. I find it very easy to imagine this being used to make an ideologically pure internet for people's children.
posted by jaduncan at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you have the Chrome extension, you can export/import the block list.

As a lazy man among many busy beaver peers here, I'd love it if someone posted a nice long juicy export of their list of blocked content farms.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2011


absolutelyrics.com
allexperts.com
answerbag.com
answers.com
answers.yahoo.com
articlesbase.com
ask.com
associatedcontent.com
azlyrics.com
bizrate.com
brothersoft.com
buzzle.com
bytes.com
chacha.com
efreedom.com
ehow.com
elyrics.net
elyricsworld.com
essortment.com
examiner.com
expertvillage.com
ezinearticles.com
findarticles.com
fixya.com
helium.com
hubpages.com
infobarrel.com
livestrong.com
lyrics.info
lyricsbay.com
lyricsdownload.com
lyricsfreak.com
lyricsmania.com
lyricsmode.com
lyricsondemand.com
mahalo.com
mail-archive.com
metrolyrics.com
mp3lyrics.org
sing365.com
songlyrics.com
squidoo.com
suite101.com
twenga.com
wisegeek.com
wonderhowto.com
xomba.com
ziipa.com
posted by jiroczech at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2011 [38 favorites]


I find it very easy to imagine this being used to make an ideologically pure internet for people's children.

Then, we'll see a movement to ban teaching Bing in schools.
posted by almostmanda at 6:54 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Farewell Accepted Solution! :-)
posted by no1nose at 6:55 AM on March 11, 2011


For those who are having problems, you should also be aware that it's not available in all browsers yet. For example, no Opera support. Works in FF3.5, IE8, Chrome9.
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:56 AM on March 11, 2011


Signed in, following directions, but these links are not appearing - frustrating, as this seems like a great feature.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:56 AM on March 11, 2011


Sorry I just twitch-pasted that there... couldn't help myself. I guess this could get out of hand with ever-increasing block-lists getting posted all over the place. I think this is a great idea though, such a simple step that will improve the quality of searches no end.
posted by jiroczech at 6:57 AM on March 11, 2011


Signed in, following directions, but these links are not appearing - frustrating, as this seems like a great feature.

I'm not either, but that's because it's being rolled out in stages. Use the manual link.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:58 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's a lot of blocked lyrics sites, jiroczech. Don't you ever look up song lyrics?
posted by hippybear at 6:59 AM on March 11, 2011


Hmm, I don't know if I want to waste one of my 500 on Conservapedia when I've never actually seen it turn up in one of my searches.

Save it for a wikiprdia scraper.
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on March 11, 2011


I'm not either, but that's because it's being rolled out in stages. Use the manual link.

Thanks, Horace Rumpole.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:59 AM on March 11, 2011


hehe, no! I just built my own list from the one jedicus linked to earlier + some additions added by commenteers (?) one of whom must use a lot of lyrics sites.

A shared Google docs link, to cut'n'paste between machines is what we need.
posted by jiroczech at 7:02 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a lot of blocked lyrics sites, jiroczech. Don't you ever look up song lyrics?

Most of the domains blocked are from horrible sites that autoplay the song in question, scrape lyrics from other sites, try to sell you ringtones, or break up the lyrics with tons of ads. About 50% don't have the song lyrics in question, despite search results coming up for it.
posted by almostmanda at 7:04 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I usually only look up lyrics once, anyway... then paste 'em into iTunes, where I have plugins which will display them as the song appears.

I'm woefully behind on actually having my library complete with that particular project, but for the songs I do have lyrics in place for, it's awesome.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks much jiroczech. That linked blog site is a pain in the ass what with the need to edit out the ( )... Why should we all reinvent the wheel eh?
posted by Meatbomb at 7:07 AM on March 11, 2011


Then, we'll see a movement to ban teaching Bing in schools.

Teach the controversy!
posted by jaduncan at 7:10 AM on March 11, 2011


Expert-sexchange is actually really useful... Yeah, they want you to sign up to see the answers, but as pointed out above, you just scroll down to the bottom and you get the first page of results anyways... this is how they try to game search engines. It has saved my butt at work a few times!
posted by utsutsu at 7:11 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yahoo Answers doesn't really belong in that list -- useless, sure, but so entertaining!
posted by rottytooth at 7:17 AM on March 11, 2011


If I remember correctly, expertsexchange and the Google got into a bit of a spat because the site would let the Googlebot crawl the pages that had the answers, but did not make those same pages available to users who were searching for the answers. Google could've just de-listed them, but I think the compromise was for the sexchange people to list the answers in the footer, so they could be crawled and be visible to users with browsers (not just indexing spiders).
posted by antonymous at 7:20 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Expert-sexchange is actually really useful... Yeah, they want you to sign up to see the answers, but as pointed out above, you just scroll down to the bottom and you get the first page of results anyways... this is how they try to game search engines. It has saved my butt at work a few times!

Yeah, but everything they have can be found at other, more convenient places, and all things considered, I'd just prefer that they fold up and go away.
posted by empath at 7:20 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Expertexchange: The Yahoo Answers of tech.
posted by jaduncan at 7:26 AM on March 11, 2011


I blocked ebay.

Hot damn now maybe my online searches for buying stuff will stop returning metric shit-tons of idiots trying to sell me a half-ass beat up used copy of something. I don't want to haggle or deal with a stupid auction, god damn it. I just want to buy the thing and be done with it. ebay stopped being useful a long time ago.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:27 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also odd that it's not possible to block sites in safari

This is my Mac-using sadface.
posted by immlass at 7:27 AM on March 11, 2011


how is babby blocked?
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:30 AM on March 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


ehow won't go away when I search for "how to change a lightbulb". I'm so used to sifting through all this crap anyway...
posted by glip at 7:30 AM on March 11, 2011


The only thing that could make this better is if it included the ability to scan my mind* and find all the times when I couldn't find the answer I was looking for except behind some place I had to sign-up for a login to read and then send them an automatic email that said "kiss my ass."

*I trust Google more than most companies and many on here but am glad they don't seem to have mind-scanning ability

This would be worth it for lyrics alone. There are good, accurate sites listing lyrics on the web, but you'd never know it based on the first few pages of a Google search.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:39 AM on March 11, 2011


Sites will be blocked only for you, but Google may use everyone's blocking information to improve the ranking of search results overall.

How long before Anonymous start using this to downgrade their targets' websites?

I hope this works out for the good, it seems a fairly simplistic counter-measure, possibly open to some abuse.
posted by iotic at 7:40 AM on March 11, 2011


Awesome! Now when I search for TI (Texas Instruments) I won't get the Hip hop artist.
posted by rocket88 at 7:45 AM on March 11, 2011


Something else I discovered while setting all this up is that you can specify how many search results are displayed on a page: 10, 20, 30, 50, or 100. This is probably old as dirt and everyone knows about it and I'm a tiresome oaf for even mentioning it, but if this is news to you, too, click here and scroll down to "Number of Results" at the bottom.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:47 AM on March 11, 2011


So basically, Google lost?
posted by entropicamericana at 7:47 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gotta wonder if this is just going to result in Content Farm Wars, with the larger companies just hiring droogs to "downvote" sites that aren't theirs until theirs are on top again.
posted by Shepherd at 7:50 AM on March 11, 2011


Well, they lost at the automated part of it. But they're constantly tweaking their results algorithm, and they continue to improve in the battle against SEO all the time. There's been a lot of interesting developments lately (like JC Penny suffering degraded ranking because they happened to fall in with an unscrupulous optimization scheme), and other sites being degraded but appealing their case to Google and being restored.

It's down to actual humans doing the work to make it quality again. They haven't lost the war, but they've certainly had a few battles go wrong lately.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 AM on March 11, 2011


what are some of the other sites people are blocking?

shopping.com
shop.ebay.com

So for my block list, I'm entering known valid phone numbers for legitimate businesses, and blocking any and all sites that aren't (a) owned by that business, (b) legitimate reviews of the business, or (c) casual legitimate references in blogs, etc. Fuck those spammy fuckers with "whoiscallingme.com" and "freereverselookup.com" and all those other fuckers that actually get in the way of useful results. Die in fire.

Nice!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:54 AM on March 11, 2011


The difference between being a tech nerd or an nerd: whether your loathing is reserved for StackOverflow or EHow.

Why would you loathe stackoverflow? The stackexchange sites are genuinely good...
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:08 AM on March 11, 2011


Beyond eHow and experts-exchange, what are some of the other sites people are blocking?

itunes.com
myspace.com
facebook.com
posted by juiceCake at 8:08 AM on March 11, 2011


The phone number reverse sites are the worst.
Some even have a probably accidental pre-emptive workaround for this, which is to have lots of subdomains, like:
646.555.cellphone-id-example.com
646.556.cellphone-id-example.com
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:11 AM on March 11, 2011


cooks.com recipe listings are just scraped off other, better sites.
posted by stp123 at 8:12 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


itunes.com

You showed them, dude! Way to stick it to a cname with a redirect to the apple.com frontpage!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:13 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to blocking out many of the zillions of really lame business listing sites out there, as well, so that when I search for a specific restaurant, I'll get results from a couple of usually reliable sites, instead of 2,000 stupid sites that all have the same wrong information.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:13 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be amusing to see a list of which sites are most frequently banned.
posted by mecran01 at 8:15 AM on March 11, 2011


Dear Google: Upload as text file is the real winner.
posted by swift at 8:16 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


FUCK YOU EHOW!
posted by Decimask at 8:21 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, the results that came up when I typed my own phone number in were freaky as hell.
posted by Shepherd at 8:21 AM on March 11, 2011


I got little green crosses that allowed to remove results from the search a couple of years ago, and for some searches they've never come back. Was that some prototype?
posted by infini at 8:21 AM on March 11, 2011


No one's mentioned roseindia.net yet?
posted by orthogonality at 8:33 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


wisegeek.com

I have actually found that site helpful. Is there something I don't know?

I am not seeing these amazing "block site" links next to the "cached" link. I clearly am doing it wrong. This might make me hate google instant slightly less if it works.
posted by zennie at 8:37 AM on March 11, 2011


Has Google lost? Looking at this discussion, few here want to get rid of actual spam content farms and instead will use it to hide semi-spammy but legitimate sites like ehow and the sexchange people. Their content is technically unique, why would google block them on that basis?

Maybe this is an acknowledgement of the fact that machine intelligence only goes so far today. But if our blocking prefs will be used to influence (and hopefully improve) future search results for all users, then the human hive mind will have won, postponing SkyNet for a few more months...
posted by _Lasar at 8:40 AM on March 11, 2011


_Lasar - I'll block the link farms as they come up in the future. Right now I have a Target List that I'm working through. It would help future efforts at making sense of this crowd-sourced info if google had a 10-option drop box for "reason" instead of a freeform field.
posted by yesster at 8:48 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Has Google lost? Looking at this discussion, few here want to get rid of actual spam content farms and instead will use it to hide semi-spammy but legitimate sites like ehow and the sexchange people. Their content is technically unique, why would google block them on that basis?

You misunderstand "content farms." Many content farms generate technically original content, but only for the purpose of deriving ad revenue from it. They use web design tricks to make their sites rank better in Google's results, so that (for example) expertsexchange becomes a prominent part of technical searches even though their content is worthless.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:48 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


People seem confused about what this is.

It will only stop you from seeing these results. It affects nobody else.

The post says they might use it in the future but my guess is that the data will be too noisy, unusable and subject to manipulation.

So yeah go ahead and block sites if you care. Me, I am just going to do what I always did and skip over them until I find one that is what I need.

In my opinion Google's other recent measures - penalizing content scrapers and drastically reducing ad impressions on re-purprosed content will have a much larger effect. On my two trivial personal reference photo sites that I run Adwords on for experiment purposes the impressions have dropped to less than 5% of what they were before this month and the Google traffic has halved. That has to really hurt people who want more than an incidental beer every couple of months.
posted by srboisvert at 8:50 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do you define an "actual spam content farm"? I don't notice those turning up on the first page of search results very often.

On a completely unrelated note...
For a long while, I felt the better thing about the Yahoo! engine was that you were more likely to turn up whole sites that matched your search. Which I guess is a little like Bing. Google was for turning up specific pages, specific matches, and was already too "sophisticated" for some people to find useful. Google has continued to get more complex. I kind of want them to stop.
posted by zennie at 8:50 AM on March 11, 2011


No loss for Google, no loss for us, basically only a loss for people who rely on low quality content and SEO to clog up search engine results.
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on March 11, 2011


Looking at this discussion, few here want to get rid of actual spam content farms and instead will use it to hide semi-spammy but legitimate sites like ehow and the sexchange people.

eHow is the very definition of a content farm. Google isn't seeking to block content farms from search results for everyone--just lower their ranking significantly based on crowdsourced data. The content might original, but that doesn't make it useful or high quality.
posted by almostmanda at 8:52 AM on March 11, 2011


AzraelBrown, infini: Yes, I definitely had this function at some point in the past. You could click something and the search result would disappear in a puff of smoke. Like, an animated puff of smoke. Then there was a discussion on MetaFilter about "wouldn't it be great if you could block search results on Google?" and I noticed it had gone again...!
posted by alasdair at 8:52 AM on March 11, 2011


The post says they might use it in the future but my guess is that the data will be too noisy, unusable and subject to manipulation.

I'm betting that part of PageRank is based on click-through from search results. If many users ban a site and never click on it again, that will eventually have an effect on PageRank even if it doesn't ban it from others' searches...
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:53 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


For a long while, I felt the better thing about the Yahoo! engine was that you were more likely to turn up whole sites that matched your search.

This is because Yahoo's directory is human-curated. You can still do this with Google, you just have to have better search skills. You're more likely to find up-to-date, specifically useful content with Google than with a human-curated directory. By the way, Google has one too, based on the Open Directory Project.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:55 AM on March 11, 2011


You could click something and the search result would disappear in a puff of smoke. Like, an animated puff of smoke.

I kinda liked that effect, I must say.

otoh, I wonder if it disappeared because it allowed for too much curation of your preferred first page for a particular search. i don't recall it being only for me specifically.
posted by infini at 9:04 AM on March 11, 2011


I think experts-exchange is far from worthless. I get a lot of good information there.
posted by tresbizzare at 9:10 AM on March 11, 2011


How do you define an "actual spam content farm"?

Did the site owners produce the content? Did the site visitors produce the content? Or was the content scraped?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:14 AM on March 11, 2011


Also, the fact that Chrome has an extension for this makes it much more useful for people who care.
posted by sneebler at 9:16 AM on March 11, 2011


Adding to jiroczech's list:

gawker.com
gizmodo.com
kotaku.com
jalopnik.com
lifehacker.com
deadspin.com
jezebel.com
io9.com
fleshbot.com
gawker.tv
cityfile.com
valleywag.com
defamer.com
sploid.com


I mean, I already edited my hosts file a while back, but oh that felt extra good.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:27 AM on March 11, 2011


This doesn't seem to work at all in Safari. I'm logged in on my Google account, I can go to the page and enter a bunch of sites to be blocked, but searching for products still pulls up (blocked) Amazon and Shopping.com results, and "how to change a light bulb" still gets (blocked) eHow results.

However, if I open Firefox and repeat the searches, it works beautifully.
posted by xedrik at 9:39 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You showed them, dude!

Ahh, sure. Ok. I also ate toast today and did, coincidentally, edit an unrelated CNAME record just seconds ago. I also walked today too.
posted by juiceCake at 9:48 AM on March 11, 2011


Just being able to nuke cooks.com and ehow.com - and associatedcontent.com! - is bringing me such pleasure. Thanks google! Oh, and content farms who paid up the wazoo for your snappy domains and SEOs: hahahahahahaha. Fuck off.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:09 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm baffled by all the people who seem to prefer an amateur sex change to one done by an expert.
posted by straight at 10:11 AM on March 11, 2011


I just blocked a moderate number of sites based in part on what was linked/posted here. Then I ran a search for some random computer part.

O!M!G!

I think I just had a search-gasm!

Now I fear for my sanity as I face an incomprehensible volume of actually useful information that's threating to overwhelm my mental capacity to absorb it. I'm just not used to this anymore... I'm literally caught like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming big rig racing down the information superhighway. A big rig loaded with relevant data.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seriously, this is making me insanely happy. Thanks, Google!
posted by 8dot3 at 10:20 AM on March 11, 2011


And explain to me, exactly, how the a non-metafilter, non-techy, typical google user (like my wife) would know to do this? I want to be able to give her an easy-to-user thing to clear out the shit that clutters up her arts- and crafts- related searches. Hiding functionality is a poor design choice, simple as that.

Exactly how much simpler ( for the non techies) does it get then clicking through, going yuck, and hitting back plus block? That seems like pretty typical behavior for the average user. I get that you have a problem with clicking through, but most likely other people don't, or don't understand the distinction. Maybe this could be implemented better, but shit, this is something you couldn't do before. You seem disproportionally upset about additional features that you get at no cost.
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 10:27 AM on March 11, 2011


I think experts-exchange is far from worthless. I get a lot of good information there.

Agreed, we actually have an annual subscription here....we reason it pays for itself if we have on incident that is solved with the help of EE. The active community there isn't really that bad (the layout for the non-subscriber can be annoying I suppose...)
posted by samsara at 10:35 AM on March 11, 2011


I am awaiting my royalty cheque. You are welcome.
posted by Theta States at 10:37 AM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think experts-exchange is far from worthless. I get a lot of good information there.

I suggest you should not add the site to your list of blocked sites, then.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I hope my suggestion is helpful.
posted by odinsdream at 10:53 AM on March 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


ehow won't go away when I search for "how to change a lightbulb"

If someone has to use google for this, they probably deserve to be sent to eHow.
posted by desjardins at 10:59 AM on March 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's gone for me. Now I get mostly joke sites. Which is how I think it should be for that search.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:03 AM on March 11, 2011


Ugh. It doesn't seem to work for Google News. I blocked examiner.com and it still coughed up stories from that site.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:06 AM on March 11, 2011


What News searches were you running that brought up examiner.com? I can't find any so far after blocking it.
posted by maudlin at 11:19 AM on March 11, 2011


I just did a test search for "japan".
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:24 AM on March 11, 2011


Google just told me that I could block all google.com results. That's consistency.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:27 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I searched for Japan, too, but nothing from examiner.com comes up, even when I dig into the first page of 14K results. I'm in Canada, if that makes any difference, but I have gotten a lot of examiner.com results before.
posted by maudlin at 11:29 AM on March 11, 2011


Try Jane Eyre or Rochester. I got a bunch of examiner.com stuff about the movie after blocking the site.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:30 AM on March 11, 2011


Hmm. Jane Eyre still brought up nothing, but Rochester -- that bastard! -- brought in a few Examiner.com links. Never trust a man with a mad wife in the attic, I say.
posted by maudlin at 11:34 AM on March 11, 2011


And all this time I thought that Rochester was Jack Benny's valet.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on March 11, 2011


How long before one of these businesses sues jongales.com or some other blog for listing them on these block suggestion posts? Already the comments at jongales.com have CEOs coming in to complain.
posted by spicynuts at 11:50 AM on March 11, 2011


sploid.com .... but oh that felt extra good."

Dang.
posted by kenlayne at 11:50 AM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Google introduces voluntary new, useful feature for free; users decry that it requires storing a minimal amount of information. News at 11.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Goodbye Fox News! At least from normal searches. Now if only this would cleanse Google News of the taint as well...
posted by mullingitover at 12:03 PM on March 11, 2011


I was just about to comment "Goodbye expertsexchange" when I clicked though

Why all the hate about such a site? If something like that had existed 25 years ago I could have saved myself a so much grief and aggravation. Even now there are way too few experts in the field and it's all so much trial and error it seems.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:27 PM on March 11, 2011


I felt a great disturbance in the Web, as if millions of spammers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something womderful has happened.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:41 PM on March 11, 2011


Why all the hate about such a site?

I think the thing that people really don't like about expertsexchange is the way they want to present the site to Google as though all the questions and answers are public, so that plenty of search traffic gets directed their way, and yet when you arrive at the site, they do everything possible to convince you that you need to create an account there to see it.

Either actually require registration to view content, and forego the search traffic, or continue not to require it and stop laying out the page in a sneaky way to make it look like it's required.
posted by FishBike at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2011


Experts-exchange get a lot of their content by scraping the microsoft newsgroups, adding adverts, and trolling for membership fees. groups.google.com will give you most of the same content in its original context.

I'm not sure how EE manage to get a higher pagerank than groups.google.com in the first place?
posted by Lanark at 1:00 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the rollout is still continuing.

When I go to google, I get google.co.nz by default, and the new feature isn't there. Following the 'go to google.com' link at the bottom, however, and the feature is there. I have added some sites and they don't show up in .com searches, but still do in .co.nz searches - despite the fact I'm logged in to my google account on both.

I'm sure this will change soon, but it's interesting to note the view from both sides of the fence.
posted by Sparx at 1:31 PM on March 11, 2011


I'm not seeing it yet on mine, and it's just google.com, even logged in.
posted by Malice at 1:40 PM on March 11, 2011


I didn't see it earlier today, but it appeared about an hour ago. You have to google a term, go to the unwanted site and then go back to see the "block this site" note appear.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:44 PM on March 11, 2011


I was going to say "goodbye cooks.com", but it looks like they aren't the top result for recipe searches anymore.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:46 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please tell me that example.com and www.example.com aren't going to be separate items on the list.

Also, please let me sort my list. Otherwise, this is most awesome.
posted by maxwelton at 2:04 PM on March 11, 2011


if only this would cleanse Google News of the taint as well...

And if that doesn't work I'll settle for cleansing the taint of Google News.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:07 PM on March 11, 2011


How many sex changes does one need to have to become expert? If it's much more than one, it seems to betray a certain indecision.
posted by jenkinsEar at 2:16 PM on March 11, 2011


Between the puff of smoke when you tell sites to pound sand and the "You blocked n results" at the bottom of the first page of results this is the best day of Google searching since they renamed it from BackRub.
posted by togdon at 2:24 PM on March 11, 2011


Beyond eHow and experts-exchange, what are some of the other sites people are blocking?

www.filestube.com
www.freshwap.net
www.zona-musical.com
www.downarchive.com
www.downtr.net
rapid4all.org
4megaupload.com
mediafiremp3.com
crazyupload.net
mediafiretrend.com
www.dl4all.com
sharedmusic.net
www.filemirrors.info
www.link4file.com
gigabitwarez.com
posted by Hubajube at 2:44 PM on March 11, 2011


Wow, I have found a lot of my dubiously-sourced media via things like megaupload and filestube. I guess we live in different worlds a little bit.

(Although, in all honestly, I generally use the links at places like filestube to go back to the originating blog post, just to make sure there's no password on the .rar I'm about to download.)
posted by hippybear at 2:59 PM on March 11, 2011


semi-spammy but legitimate sites like ehow

Um, ehow is not legitimate. they pay writers pennies per thousands of words to create lousy copy that drives pay down for everyone while simultaneously driving quality down as well.

Livestrong.com is the same—both are owned by Demand Media. I've just killed them from my results, what a feeling!
posted by Maias at 3:08 PM on March 11, 2011


Yeah that list of wares sites would about halve my music collection from the past 6 months.
posted by empath at 3:12 PM on March 11, 2011


This reminds me of earlier sites that used Google APIs, and applied their own filters. I think they were scroogle.com and iwantmygoogleback.com, they were search proxies that filtered out review sites and other early link farms. But Google changed the APIs somehow and they stopped working, I guess they didn't want other search sites piggybacking on their searches.

Now this Google filter gadget is a great leap forward for the Anti-Social Software movement. I don't want Social Software to connect me to more people, I want Anti-Social Software to make them go away. The internet is full of people you don't want to hear from, like spammers, flamers, opinionated political opponents, people that you owe money to, your brother-in-law, or your ex-girlfriend etc.

I assert that the greatest and most necessary function of the Internet is to be antisocial and ruthlessly filter out irrelevant things. What is left would be interesting, by default. Recently some net pundits have written about information overload, that the Internet can deliver too much relevant content. That can be fixed with even tighter filters, filtering out even some of the less-important info that you do want to know. The solution to info overload is to make your network filters more antisocial.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:19 PM on March 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Their content is technically unique, why would google block them on that basis?

Just because the content is unique doesn't make it useful. In the case of eHow it's low-quality content, in the case of Expertsexchange, it's obnoxiously obfuscated. In both cases I think Google should have grown a pair and shown them the exit long ago, but they didn't, so I'll block both manually.

I don't really care who or what creates the data — I'm open to automatically-generated content, if the content was genuinely helpful (I've seen no evidence that this is currently possible, at least for anything that I care about — but I do care about whether the data is useful and relevant to me. The content-farms are just results pollution.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:56 PM on March 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Goodbye Fox News! At least from normal searches. Now if only this would cleanse Google News of the taint as well...

On each story on the front page of google news, there is a drop down menu in the top right. There are "show more X stories" and "show fewer X stories" items where X is the source of the story. If any fox new stories show up for you, use the menu. This has been there a while now and I've used it to cull out a few sources such as fox.

You probably have to be logged in for that to work.
posted by recursion at 7:04 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, if I ban google.com, will I break the internet? </Jen>
posted by Sonny Jim at 11:26 PM on March 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always get something called 'Wikipedia' at the top of my search results, so I've banned it.

Actually, schools should do that. Then they might get some original essays.
posted by Summer at 5:49 AM on March 12, 2011


I was able to use the feature a few hours ago, but it's gone now. I'm in the UK, so it might be a google.com vs google.co.uk thing. I hope it gets fully rolled out soon, but until then I'll continue to use the OptimizeGoogle addon.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:51 AM on March 12, 2011


I found it to be extra satisfying when I went to the link provide by Jedicus and blocked websites based on their attempts at self-justification in the comments section.
posted by Horatius at 11:20 AM on March 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not working for me anymore, and I just got an about.com result when I searched for a Thai recipe. I am logged in to Google and using Firefox.

Quit playing games with my heart, Google.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:19 PM on March 12, 2011


I've been using this Greasemonkey script to do this for a long time.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:11 PM on March 12, 2011


Thanks for the tip, IndigoRain. You gave me the idea to search userscripts.org for similar scripts and I found one I like even better: Google Hit Hider. It puts a little "BLOCK" button right next to all of your google results, so banning entire domains is a piece of cake. It seems easier to fine tune as well -- you can actually tell it to NOT display which sites are blacklisted in your results, so the search pages look cleaner. It also allows you to export your list (although the developer says the import feature isn't functional yet, but it's on his To-Do list).

If any other Firefox + Mac users are having trouble with Greasemonkey not working properly (userscripts won't install), head on over to this link for clarification. Apparently there's a bug that was introduced in the GM 0.9.1 update and they're working on a fix. The workaround for now is to make sure you have Growl installed and running before you install any new scripts.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 9:23 PM on March 12, 2011


How did livestrong.com end up on the list?
posted by schwa at 10:42 PM on March 12, 2011


I don't know much about it, but livestrong.com is owned by Demand Media, and differs from livestrong.org, Lance Armstrong's nonprofit. Though they have some sort of deal with them. From their website "While LIVESTRONG.ORG remains a nonprofit, LIVESTRONG.COM is a for-profit that derives its revenue from advertising and member subscriptions." Really it seems overall pretty sketchy to use the well known name of a nonprofit in this way at all.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:11 AM on March 14, 2011


eHow, Experts Exchange, Squidoo and Mahalo or the worst offenders for me.
posted by scottelkin at 4:21 PM on March 15, 2011


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