Google Now Lets You Block Sites You Don't Like Directly from Your Search Results


A few weeks ago, Google introduced a Chrome plugin that allowed you to block sites you didn’t want to see in your results pages. Now, the search giant is taking this concept a step further and allows anybody to block sites right from the search results page. There is a slight twist to this, though. The link to the block feature will only appear after you have visited a site. So if you want to block a site that you deem to be offensive or of low quality, you first have to visit it before you can block it.

block sites

The link for blocking a site will appear underneath the search result, next to the options to see a cached version of a page and to see similar results. A new option to manage blocked sites (with the ability to unblock them) will now appear on your Google settings page.

According to Google, the company is “adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google.” Google has, of course, been under a lot of criticism lately as its search results have become increasingly diluted by spam sites and results from content farms that try to game the company’s algorithms to rank as high as possible in Google’s index.

For now, Google is not using this new blocking feature as a signal in ranking sites, but is keeping to option to do this in the future open.

This new feature is rolling out on today and tomorrow. Google plans to make this feature available in other regions and languages in the future.

12:31 pm

Skype Toolbar for Firefox Caused 40,000 Crashes Last Week – Now Blocked by Mozilla


Usually, when we talk about plugins that crash our browsers, chances are that we are talking about Adobe’s Flash. Today, however, Mozilla announced that it is blocking the Skype Toolbar from its Firefox browser as it “is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week.”

The Skype toolbar examines every page you load for phone numbers and then re-renders these as clickable Skype buttons that enable users to initiate Skype calls right from their browser. According to Mozilla, the re-rendering of these phone numbers slows down some browser functions up to 300 times.

Mozilla is working with Skype to correct these issues and plans to lift this ban once the two companies have found a workable solution that does not lead to crashes and doesn’t slow the browser down.

You can find the full list of Mozilla’s banned add-ons here.

10:02 pm