Posted February 14, 2011 4:21 pm by with 7 comments

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Google has announced an interesting Chrome extension with regard to content farms and their pesky low quality content. Essentially, Google is saying that you can remove certain sites from your own search results because you don’t want to be bothered with that craptent. In exchange for this ability, Google gets to see what you think falls into this craptent category and then sees if there is enough to merit an algorithmic change based on these results.

The Google blog tells us the following

We’ve been exploring different algorithms to detect content farms, which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. One of the signals we’re exploring is explicit feedback from users. To that end, today we’re launching an early, experimental Chrome extension so people can block sites from their web search results. If installed, 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.

If you would like to get the extension you can here.

Now, this idea is intriguing because it appears as if Google is saying “Crap, we can’t really tell craptent from content either, can you help us out?” It’s an interesting approach from a company that has pretty much dictated to the world what it should or should not deem appropriate based on its algorithm being smarter than all humankind combined (ok, that wasn’t fair but I said it anyway 🙂 ). If I read that correctly, even having actual human input is considered an algorithmic event by Google. How dehumanizing! Thanks Google!

Another possible outcome? Job growth. Good thing Demand Media just got that IPO cash and Associated Content has the Yahoo! cash store to withdraw from because now they can both hire a whole wave of people for as little as possible to submit each other’s content to Google so they can effectively review spam the competition away! Neat-o!

Maybe that’s Google’s end game in all of this. They know that if they open this door then it will start the ‘Gunfight at Craptent Corral’ which could mortally wound the purveyors of slick SEO’d content that makes Mr. Algo happy but leaves intelligent human beings hungry for content that isn’t paid for by the keyword. Let them kill themselves in the SERP’s and Google is just an innocent bystander helping the world get good information that is done in complete sentences and with limited typos.

Now imagine this idea taken to the next level. What a great chance for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others to take aim at the Huffington Post. Now we’re talkin’!

  • Big winners here: Mechanical Turk workers & Programmers already putting the scripts together to block competitors sites.

    Its like the Google stimulus program…

  • Let the age of the hand editing begin!

  • @David

    Competitors will never use Chrome again.

  • Pelase excuusany typos

    I just finished searchign for all my best keywrods & blacklistsling all my compettors and cacklign liek teh wicked witch of teh west. My hadns are TIRED!

  • Makes sense to make, and from my experience with SEO, if it makes sense it’s probably true.

    I wonder if people will start offering services to bulk remove competitor’s websites from accounts…

  • What’s to stop a competitor from telling Google that your site is full of crap, let alone the big boys at NYT, HuffPo, et al?

  • I’m interested to see how this pans out. I could see a lot of people hiding their competitors websites and black hat seo services that offer bulk hides or something like that. The only possibly way this will work is if the flagged content is manually reviewed to determine if it is ‘craptent’ as you put it.