Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sometimes when I search for something, there are plenty of links to sites with no content (those who only have the premade templates which the search terms), spammers, and leechers (as in copying content from other sites, like B r o t h e r s o f t who leeches on SoftPedia.com).

How come they have such a high ranking without any original content (furthermore, why are they not simply banned from the results)?

And also, is there some way of filtering them out? Like for example completely exclude a domain from search results?

share|improve this question
    
These websites simply exploit they way search engines work. They create pages which contains terms searched by google. Obviously these should be blocked –  LifeH2O Dec 21 '10 at 8:03
    
to close voters, I think this is a valid web power user question, if addressed from the end user perspective and not a webmaster –  Jeff Atwood Dec 21 '10 at 17:53
1  
    
Seems like blocking these sites would be a nice addition to the popular AdBlock+ extension. –  omf Dec 21 '10 at 18:41
    
This isn't an answer to your question, but these spammy sites are a bit of a conflict of interest for (e.g.) Google too, since they tend to make money from ads. And companies like Google often get a cut of those ads. –  Mike Kale Dec 22 '10 at 1:30

6 Answers 6

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Check out this Google Chrome extension:

Tired of the same spammy scraper sites and useless "Pay to view" pages clogging up your search results? Search Filter is the answer.

When installed, a delete button will show up next to the URL in your search results. When a domain has been deleted, it is removed from all search results for all search terms. An Options page is provided to remove filters.

Supported search engines are: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/ddgjlkmkllmpdhegaliddgplookikmjf?hl=en-gb

found via:

Is there a way to remove sites permanently from (my personal) google search results?

share|improve this answer
    
As I am a fervent Chrome/Chromium user, this will be the most helpful to me. Thanks! –  houbysoft Dec 24 '10 at 16:18
    
This appears to no longer work. It doesn't work for me and reviews seem to concur. But it looks like Google has implemented a similar extension that I'm going to test now: chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/personal-blocklist-by-goo/… –  clweeks Apr 28 at 14:06

Search engines are all about getting you to what you're looking for. The type of site you mention is all about looking enough like what you're looking for that search engines will rank them high - and they will have visitor numbers that enable them to make a commercial return. The best of breed do actually add some value, putting material together in one place. But that's rarely achieved and very, very rarely sustained.

Of course, the stuff you really want may have been put together by someone who knew what they were talking about but didn't know how to show that to the search engine. Over time, users struggling through to find the real content teach the search engine where to take you for a given query. But it's a frustrating process.

Long term, this can't be the answer. Search is fantastic for broad content, but perversely search engines aren't great for tracking down specialist knowledge. Sadly, rival strategies for humanising the web have so far produced very little.

share|improve this answer

This is something Google (et al) are supposed to be doing for you. If it's a consistent problem I'd try switching search engines to some alternatives:

As for Google, you can exclude domains from search but it's kind of a manual pain:

awesome -site:codinghorror.com

that would exclude codinghorror.com from your results for the search term "awesome".

If you need a big list of site exclusions, you can set up a Google custom search, with detailed step by step instructions here. There might also be some browser extensions, depending on your browser, that will auto-exclude some sites from your results.

share|improve this answer
5  
Wow! I've never seen this on Google: "Your search - awesome -site:codinghorror.com - did not match any documents." :) –  splattne Dec 21 '10 at 19:38
1  
+1 for Duck Duck Go - and there is also www.blekko.com –  Darren Newton Dec 21 '10 at 19:54
    
@darren darn it I should have added blekko -- fixing that now –  Jeff Atwood Dec 22 '10 at 5:24

You can do that with Personal Blocklist (by Google), an extension for Google Chrome. Read more about this extension on their blog.

share|improve this answer
    
Yes, I noticed it yesterday too on the chrome extension site; I'm using it now. Thanks anyway, +1 –  houbysoft Feb 25 '11 at 20:24

You can now manage your own personal blacklist for Google here: Manage Blocked Sites.

share|improve this answer
    
I have an extensive list of domains blocked on this page yet using Safari they are always in my results. Using Chrome they are blocked. From my use, it appears that sites in the blocked sites list are not respected when using Safari. –  Bryson Dec 6 '11 at 22:56
    
Did you try using a plaintext (http) connection to Google instead of the encrypted one (httpS)? I found that sometimes it doesn't work on HTTPS even with Firefox. Be aware that you might be redirected to the HTTPS connection automatically. –  Kamal Dec 15 '11 at 15:29
    
Google disabled this function. They now offer the Chrome (only) extension instead, as mentioned in the answer from "Lipis". –  Henning Jun 27 at 9:21

I add -site:blockeddomain.com after my search items.

how to paint barn -site:ehow.com -site:experts-exchange.com -site:ebay.com -site:dotnetspark.com -site:go4sharepoint.com -site:wikihow.com -site:howstuffworks.com

In this example I have added my current ignore list. To make it easy for day-to-day use, I use a text expander to enter all the domains that annoy me. In my text expander I make all instances of "---" show up as "-site:ehow.com -site:experts-exchange.com -site:ebay.com -site:dotnetspark.com -site:go4sharepoint.com -site:wikihow.com -site:howstuffworks.com". I use the text expanding feature of AutoHotkey as I already use that program for several other automation tasks.

This works for Bing and Google. I used just -blockeddomain.com for Google successfully, but multiple domains this way broke Bing. Whereas with the -site: both search engines seem to behave appropriately.

It is not perfect, but it saves me time. Google used to let you block pages on a blacklist, but discontinued that service. We need to remember that in the search world, we are the product and

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.