If we haven't had enough bad news from Google recently, here's a bit more for you. Google has discontinued the ability searchers had of blocking sites. I quote "The Blocked Sites feature is no longer available. To block particular sites from your search results, we recommend the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension from Google. You may also download your existing blocked sites list as a text file."This is from support.google.com so it's official.
You used to be able to block up to 500 sites, and it was a very useful little tool, particularly if there were two very similar versions of a site with confusing names or domains (a common trick that the pornographic sites use), so you could block the results appearing in your results. Now it's gone. No good reason for it either, which is irritating.To be fair, after they introduced it in March 2011 it's never really worked properly, and I think that they've given up trying to make it work properly. Clearly they don't think that it's a feature that is worth spending time and effort on, even if it is a very helpful function that a lot of users liked. Unfortunately it's another example of Google ignoring users; I can't put a positive spin on it for them at all, no matter how hard I try and be fair and even handed about it.
However, I can give you a reason for it, and it's from their own press release; use a feature that works in Chrome. Hey - isn't that a browser that Google owns? Why yes Phil, it is. So by reducing functionality in the search engine, and introducing it in their own browser, is it just possible do you think that Google is trying to put pressure on people to change to that, rather than stick with any opposition browsers, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer and so on? While that's not directly going to make money for them, it's certainly in that ballpark. But maybe I'm just cynical.
Thanks to ResearchBuzz News for the headsup on this one.