Brafton has reported that Google's algorithm was recently updated to punish sites that don't offer original content. Now, the company is taking another step in reducing spam content on the web by allowing Google Chrome users to block sites from search results – and marketers who want their businesses' pages to appear in results should consider invigorating their content efforts.
Google announced yesterday that is wants to enhance its algorithmic fight against low-quality content with 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,” the company said. (Notably, this act seems to mirror Blekko's recent decision to ban low-quality sites users have marked as spam.)
Users who install the Personal Blocklist extension can opt to click on a small link that appears under search results that invites them to block the offending site. Once a website is blocked, content from the site won't appear in a user's search results. Sites can be “unblocked” courtesy of a link at the bottom of results pages.
Search marketers should take note that this new feature not only banishes sites from individual users' results pages, but it could also impact a business' ranking in general Google searches. “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.”
While this service could potentially be abused by brands trying to eliminate the competition, marketers' best bet at remaining free of “blocks” is to offer searchers quality content relevant to their industries. As Brafton has reported, content marketing strategies are poised to be a priority in 2011, and this new development from Google will potentially fuel further content investment.