WASHINGTON – Google on Monday gave users of its Chrome Web browser the ability to block search results from low-quality websites known as content farms.
Google’s principal engineer Matt Cutts said Chrome users can download and install an extension for Chrome that blocks sites which provide “shallow or low-quality content” from their search results.
“When you block a site with the extension, you won’t see results from that domain again in your Google search results,” Cutts said in a blog post.
“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.”
Cutts said the Chrome extension was available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish in addition to English.
The announcement was Google’s latest move in the fight against poor quality search results generated by content farms, which produce hundreds or thousands of poor quality pages a day in a bid to attract traffic to their advertisements.
Last month, the company announced moves to make it harder for spam-packed websites to rank high in search results.
Google is the dominant search engine in the United States, enjoying a 65.6 percent share of the US online search market at the end of January, according to tracking firm comScore.
ComScore said 16.1 percent of US online searches in January were done at Yahoo! websites, which are powered by Bing, while Bing handled 13.1 percent of online queries during the month.