Google lets you create your own naughty list

You may have picked up the news that both Google and Bing have admitted to having whitelists of  ‘nice’ sites that manually override their search and ranking algorithms (Google, Bing Have White Lists Of Sites Not To Be Impacted By Algo Changes and Google contradicts own counsel in face of antitrust probe No big surprises there, as many of us have suspected that was the case for some time, but Google now also lets you set up your own naughty list and block selected sites from your search results. (We’ve already been able to set up nice lists for about a year – Google SearchWiki replaced with starred results

You first need to sign in to your Google account and then run your search as normal. For each entry in your results list there should now be a ‘Block’ option for the site.

Google Block Sites

Click on the block option and you will no longer see pages from that site in future searches. If you carry out a search that would normally contain pages from a blocked site you will see a message saying how many results were blocked. You can manage your naughty list and unblock sites by going to your Search Settings or clicking on the “Manage blocked sites” link that appears when you block a domain. Google says that it is not currently using blocked domains as a signal in search ranking but it may do so in the future.

Yet another way for Google to thoroughly mess up our searches.

8 thoughts on “Google lets you create your own naughty list”

  1. Interestingly… I don’t get this at all. No change in my settings or display – exactly the same as per normal. You’re not surprised are you? No, neither am I.

  2. [Sobs hysterically]


    My first workshop this week is going to be fun. A research group whose members come from different countries so they’ll be using their own favourite country version of the search tools and they all have their own laptops that are not connected or controlled by a central server. And they can use whatever browser and software they want. I shall start taking the tablets now…

  3. Ah, time to call up the old Google Mantra ‘Depending on your configuration and user settings, you may or may not see the following…’

    By the way, are you also seeing a difference, top right? No ‘log out’ option – just your name and options? Clicking on name lets you log out or visit your profile.

  4. I have a standard disclaimer now slightly amended:

    “Results depend on country version used, browser, version of browser, operating system, platform, logged in to a Google account or not, web history, starred results, naughty lists, searcher location specified or not, language, which server Google happens to send your search to, Google experiments, is there an r in the month, is there a full moon…..”

    Re top right log out/in or just name it switches from one to the other at random. Been doing that for several weeks here.

  5. Google has been (or has had the capability of) white & blacklisting sites for some time – obviously in response to black-hat SEO but probably for other reasons too. (I mentioned Google’s 2006 patent in a comment on SEW – i.e.
    “System and method for supporting editorial opinion in the ranking of search results” US Patent 7096214 – filed 11 years ago ( that contains the following:
    ‘… For each web page/site identified as favored and non-favored, the editors may determine an editorial opinion parameter for that site…’ This would allow the server to adjust the score of a particular web page up or down ‘depending upon whether the web site is “favored” or “non-favored.”‘)

    As for the block sites option – I actually like it in principle. I often come across sites that I know are useless but keep occurring in certain searches. To me, they are just noise that I’ve sometimes removed using specific – (not) tags. This is a better way as I don’t risk losing stuff that could be useful with the – tag.

    Maybe a better approach though would be to do something like the Starred sites – and put them at the bottom of the first page of your search with a message saying “Blocked sites for xxx” (but actually excluding them from the results apart from this). That way 3 weeks later when you’ve forgotten that you blocked them, they can be quickly unblocked.

    1. Arthur, from the tests I have done Google is putting a message at the bottom of the results page telling you that there are blocked links and you then have an option to show them and then unblock them. The problem I have with this is that I have set my results display to 100 and I rarely get down to the bottom of the page! It would be better to have the message at the top of the page.

      Like you, I do find this feature useful but only as long as it is kept as my personal naughty list. I may regard a site as a complete waste of time but many others may find it useful and vice versa. I do not want Google using looking at these lists and incorporating them into their algorithms.

      1. I also have my results set to display 100. Unfortunately I’ve not yet see the option to block results – not sure why but it could be because of add-ons I use, or my ISP or that I use a Mac… (well you know the disclaimer)

        It’s a really good point however that if Google used the lists to downplay results it could distort results overall. I’m not sure if they upgrade Starred results though. I star results when I know I’ll want them again – just to force them to the top of my search.

        1. Phil can’t see the option either as I am sure you will have seen from one of his comments above. And this morning neither can I! Must be a full moon or sunspots or something. I don’t believe Google has used starred results to influence ranking (yet) but who knows what will happen in coming months, weeks, days, hours, seconds…

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