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New Chrome Extension Lets You Block Content Farms in Google

Google releases extension in response to “content farm” complaints.

Tired of seeing eHow in your Google search results? Now you can block it.

Today Google released a new Chrome extension that allows people to block entire sites from results when searching on Google.

In a blog post, the company says it created this extension in response to outcry over content farms which have low quality or shallow content. Demand Media’s eHow has been a poster child for many people frustrated with “content farms”.

This may be a good solution, but I think even the Chrome extension’s users may be a little miffed. I think many of the people upset about so-called content farms are more upset that these sites are making money than that they’re mucking up their own searches. So if someone is mad about eHow they can now block it, but they won’t stop the site from making money.

eHow won’t lose any traffic or money, either. The type of people clicking to eHow and then clicking an ad aren’t the same people who know how to download and install a Chrome extension. (Or are they?)

But the extension doesn’t stop there. Google says “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.”

In other words, if enough people block your site you might find yourself slip in the search rankings.

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  1. Mike

    And so it begins. A whole new battlefield in the SEO war. Next they will/should make it easy to do the same thing from your google homepage. It’s black list spamming.

  2. Jo

    People will use it if it is made simple enough for them. Ie: after chrome performs an automatic update the next time it opens it may just ask the user “do you want to block low quality websites”, (further explanation by clicking a tiny hard to see link) most users would say, “ya of course”. Presto done blocked.

    Of course that won’t happen for a little while, first google needs to build up a list of most frequently manually blocked sites by users of the product in it’s current iteration.

    Perhaps they will offer a slider like Internet explore does for privacy options. What level of low quality site blocking do you want? Low, medium, or high? With these levels based on the frequencies sites were blocked manually during the current iteration of the extension.

    Yes I’m a programmer, thus how my mid wanders.

  3. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Andrew,

    We all knew this was coming we just did not know in what form it would come. This is going to be highly lethal to some business models. Google pretty well nailed the best delivery system and will impact a lot of people. There needs to be a change, SOON!!

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  4. S. W.

    I would be interested in seeing to what extent Google is willing to block eHow, experts-exchange, or articlesbase, it seems such a move would be akin to biting the hand that feeds Adsense.

    This Chrome extension is just a band-aid to placate the loudest critics who haven’t been pleased with content farms, but for the rest of the populace who will occasionally find value in those sites, business will go on as usual.

  5. Tim

    Instead of cleaning up Google they are trying to get people to abandon other browsers to use Chrome.

    I think it won’t work…..non-issue as Zumer above said. People are too busy to take time out to block this and block that.

    Screw Google and screw their take-a-page-out-of the Microsoft handbook approach on how to screw everyone.

    Burn Google, burn!!! Die you evil search engine.

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