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Google Introduces Domain Blocking To Search 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the see-you-later-yahoo-answers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We recently discussed a new Chrome extension that was introduced to block specified websites from appearing in search results. Now, Google has introduced a new feature that hide results from unwanted domains right from the search page. This is yet another way to find more of what you want on Google by blocking the sites you don't want to see at all in search result. The so-called 'experts exchange' or 'online eHow to guide' would be first on my blocked list." Another neat recent addition was the introduction of Recipe View, which adds depth to food preparation searches.
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Google Introduces Domain Blocking To Search

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  • Heh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drosboro (1046516) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:07PM (#35454736)

    Funny... I just blacklisted Experts-Exchange on my very first search... before I read this article/summary. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking it is the main scourge of the internet. :)

    • by hellkyng (1920978)

      My first thought when I read this was that it was neat but not all that useful... then I saw I could block Experts-Exchange!!!! Awesome feature!!!

      • Yeah - you can block something. I'm not seeing what I can block, so much as I'm seeing what Google can block. (it's Google that's doing the blocking, after all) I've played with a few things, and it's surprising how much more web there is out there, that I can't see normally. For starters - go to Google labs, and download Namebench. Start up the graphical interface (or the CLI - whatever blows your skirt up) and select the box to "check for censorship".

        Admittedly, MOST of the censorship isn't bad, but

      • by fearlezz (594718)

        I could already block experts exchange... using greasemonkey to remove all entries that link EE. I recently unblocked EEm because using the google "in cache" function usually shows some useful hints.
        Just wondering why google doesn't punish EE for serving other data to googlebot than what users get.

    • Experts-Exchange it's like prostitution: it gives exactly what you need but in the end you know that you can get if for free with some effort.
      • Ya... Like by scrolling to the end of the page where all the answers are, visible to everyone?

        • by Anrego (830717) *

          As far as I know, that's a glitch. It doesn't happen for everyone.

          As I understand it, they use your user agent to determine whether you are a search engine or not. If you are a search engine, they give you all the answers (this is probably how they get so high in search rankings).. otherwise.. you get the "pay here" page. Essentially your user agent is weird enough that it thinks you are a search engine and is giving you your answers.

          There is an obvious way to exploit this behaviour, but I still prefer to f

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by potHead42 (188922)

            Actually it seems they check the Referer: HTTP header, so if you follow a link from Google it will show the answers, but if you enter the URL directly they're hidden (just tested this on Chrome, Opera and Firefox).

          • by Culture20 (968837)

            As I understand it, they use your user agent to determine whether you are a search engine or not. If you are a search engine, they give you all the answers (this is probably how they get so high in search rankings)..otherwise.. you get the "pay here" page.

            As I understand it, they got slammed by some lawsuit so they had to duplicate their "covered up" answers at the bottom of the page. They're still allowed to trick people into paying, but no one has to.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mysidia (191772)

            As I understand it, they use your user agent to determine whether you are a search engine or not. If you are a search engine, they give you all the answers (this is probably how they get so high in search rankings).. otherwise.. you get the "pay here" page. Essentially your user agent is weird enough that it thinks you are a search engine and is giving you your answers.

            That would be a violation of Google's rule against cloaking [google.com].

            Google Quality guidelines - basic principles
            Make pages primarily for use

        • Re:Heh... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:28PM (#35455040) Homepage

          Ya... Like by scrolling to the end of the page where all the answers are, visible to everyone?

          I keep hearing people say this, but every time I get a search result that hits experts exchange, the answer is obscured and there is no way to see it.

          Are you doing something different than the rest of us? Because I sure as heck don't see the answers there.

          At this point, I'd happily block that from my search results.

        • Not anymore,.recently they've started hiding the answers again. Therefore I'm going to block them.

          • Not true. At least, not everywhere.

            I just did a search for a Win2K3 server problem this morning, a couple of hours ago, and got an EE link in the results. Clicked it, and go the answers at the bottom of the page, as always.

        • Every time I've been to their site there were no answers no mater how far down you scrolled. Based on some of the other comments down further I assume it has changed recently because Google caught them.
    • Subscribe now and get INSTANT ACCESS TO MY AWESOME REPLY!

      *blurry text blurry text blurry text*
    • Count one more vote for the experts-exchange hate.

      In fact, a while back I had emailed google and asked them to add the option to block websites from search results because I was sick of getting experts-exchange results.

      In conclusion, suck it, experts-exchange.

    • When you click from google and scripts are disabled, just scroll down and see all the answers. Greasemonkey could hide the junk at the top, probably, just i just hit 'END' key and read up. Problem solved.

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      Some of the most arcane (and useful) tips I've ever gotten were from experts exchange. What, you don't scroll all the way to the bottom where the real answers are?
    • by wiedzmin (1269816)
      I guess it makes sense if you don't want to pay or contribute to get your answers. I contribute and therefore have access to the answers, so it's a very useful site.
      • by JeffSh (71237)

        Yeah, we subscribe here and I've found many solutions to problems using our account. I find it an easy to use resource and worth the subscription. I'm not sure what the aversion is. It's just a knowledgebase. Can anyone enlighten me about why people here seem to not like EE?

    • by Artraze (600366)

      At least Experts-Exchange actually sometimes provides information, and doesn't usually eat pages of search. Blacklisting is more work than the occasional page down IMHO.

      Now paywalled scientific papers... Goodbye ScienceDirect! Never again will I have to scroll through pages and pages of results for the one result that isn't going to cost me $30 whenever I search something science related. You will not be missed.

    • Wait, I thought everybody just hit the "cached" link and scrolled down to see the answer for free.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      Funny... I just blacklisted Experts-Exchange on my very first search... before I read this article/summary. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking it is the main scourge of the internet. :)

      They were the first site I thought to block when I read about this somewhere else too!

      It's funny how they tend to be so high up in ranking yet seem to be universally hated. I do remember some one telling me once that the service is worth the money, but I just dont trust them.

  • About half of my answers come with Experts Exchange. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page if you don't feel like paying; all the answers are right there
    • by drosboro (1046516)

      What's wrong? You have to scroll down a ridiculously long page to get to your answers. There are other sites that put the answer, you know, somewhere where you can see them.

      • by Hyppy (74366) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:14PM (#35454830)
        The "End" key on my keyboard works wonderfully for scrolling to the bottom of the EE page. It's a problem of whether or not any other sites even have the answer I'm looking for. If I can find it in a more convenient format, I'm generally all ears, but most of the other sites that look relevant in searches are just one of the hundreds of poor copies of email/newsletter digests that are never answered. Those bass-ackwards email aggregators would be the absolute first thing on my list to block.
      • Ya, flicking that scroll button once is a huge price to pay for some potentially useful information.

        Sheesh.

        I can understand if some people don't like the format and prefer to use other sites, but to actually complain about it? I don't know if there's a word for people who complain about free stuff, but there should be.

        • by nschubach (922175)

          Actually, that may explain why the guy in the cube behind me is always grinding his mouse wheel... it's starting to get annoying listening to *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* click *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* *grind* click all day long.

        • Agreed. How about "freetard"?

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Was it just me or did they try to block access to the answers recently? It's not like that now but I could have sworn a couple of months ago they weren't showing the answers at all.

      What's wrong with Experts Exchange is that they do that kind of shit.

      • Yeah I noticed the same thing, but others here have been saying it has something to do with how experts-exchange processes referrers and user agents. Anyway, I'm sick of their antics.

        I think Experts-Exchange may have been wiped from Google now due to popular demand. I've been doing some technical searches and they never seem to show up anymore.

    • by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:18PM (#35454886)
      Experts Exchange is the Charlie Sheen of IT Knowledge websites. Slashdot, on the other hand, is the Jules Verne of IT knowledge. No, I don't understand my analogy either.
    • by tzenes (904307) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:50PM (#35455356)

      I think there is a bit of history here youre missing.

      Originally, EE was a free site (like wikipedia) where people contributed to the benefit of all. Now at some point the makers of EE "sold out" and the new owners threw up the membership fee.

      Now I can see why you might think "so what," but for those of us who contributed only to have someone cash in on out hard work leaves a bad taste in our mouths. We thought we were making the world a better place, but really we were building someone elses' empire

      • by Speare (84249)

        Now I can see why you might think "so what," but for those of us who contributed only to have someone cash in on out hard work leaves a bad taste in our mouths. We thought we were making the world a better place, but really we were building someone elses' empire

        I agree with your sentiment entirely, and I am a fan/collaborator of Open Source software. But in this case it does remind me of the phrase, "If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer. You're the product being sold."

  • by Kelbear (870538) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:08PM (#35454746)

    Awesome, this will make it easier to filter out the malicious porn spam websites when I'm doing my...research.

    • Yeah unfortunately they've implemented this feature in a typically annoying Google way : you have to go there and come back to Google in order to block the site. So have fun visiting all those malicious sites before you can block them. Google needs to hire some competent UI experts.

      • "Google needs to hire some competent UI experts."

        Maybe they can hire the folks who did the Windows 7 interface.~

  • Huffington Post

    Experts Exchange

    eHow

    • by iserlohn (49556)

      Huffington Post? What's the rationale behind that? Or are you just inclined to show us your tea bagging ways?

      • Re:Here Goes .... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:56PM (#35456248) Homepage

        Psychological projection is a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others have those feelings.

        Any one of a hundred reasons it could be so. You automatically assuming "IT'S TEH ENEMY!!! OMG" says more about you than it does the original poster.

      • by netsharc (195805)

        Oh man, I'm a fan of Paul Krugman and Glenn Greenwald, and sometimes, or more precisely, a lot of times, Huffington Post pisses me off. If you look at their site now, it's got DISASTER IN JAPAN in big capital letters. If you scroll down you'll have "Jon Stewart DESTROYS Glenn Beck" (substitute the names with people's names when one criticizes the other), "WATCH: Dramatic Video of Tsunami". And usually somewhere there's "Megan Fox' bares her cleavage!" (substitute Megan Fox with any hot actress)

        It's a disgus

  • by 0racle (667029) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:08PM (#35454752)
    Expertsexchange can go strait to hell.
  • My ideal list (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Abstrackt (609015) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:08PM (#35454754)
    My ideal list would automatically exclude variations on "be the first to review..." when researching a purchase but just keeping expert sexchange out of the results is already a huge improvement.
  • by Khopesh (112447) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:20PM (#35454920) Homepage Journal
    There are three ways to read the meat in those experts-exchange links.
    • Click on the Google Cache link and scroll to the bottom. After all the censored answers and a really large navigation bar, you'll see the real answers.
    • Spoof your browser's User Agent to be Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html) using any of a plethora of extensions (I use Prefbar [mozilla.org]).
    • Using the Greasemonkey [mozilla.org] add-on, install a userscript that does it for you, like Experts-Exchange Answers [userscripts.org].
    • by Hyppy (74366)
      Right now, you can just scroll down. No trickery needed, even on IE.
    • ... none of which should be necessary. This is the reason why people malign the site. It's a bait-and-switch site, even if there are ways to get around it (but you shouldn't need to in the first place).

      • by Ancantus (1926920)

        ... none of which should be necessary. This is the reason why people malign the site. It's a bait-and-switch site, even if there are ways to get around it (but you shouldn't need to in the first place).

        Exactly, thats why this tool is so useful (I have been using the chrome add-on since it came out). You could spend the time scrolling down to the bottom of the page to get your info, or you could go to the next google hit down. In principle it has saved me a lot of time to just keep on looking. That and I am not feeding the trolls at experts-exchange.

    • by BigDogCH (760290)
      I don't understand? I can useIE or FF and just scroll to the bottom of the page.

      I don't understand the Experts Exchange hate in other posts on here. Experts Exchange does try to organize solutions to problems.........unlike the plethora of websites that just scrape data from sites like Experts Exchange. It is the others tech sites I plan to block.

      Experts Exchange works pretty good for a small IT department as a cheap source for help on occasion.
      • by Tridus (79566)

        Experts Exchange is a scam operation that tries to trick people into paying for an answer that's already on the webpage in question (just buried below 19 pages of crap).

        Besides, Stack Overflow does a far better job of getting quality answers these days. EE was shady before and is obsolete now.

    • by wygit (696674)

      Thanks for the Greasemonkey mention.

      Using Firefox 3.6.15, I google "how do i convert perl to python" (no quotes) and click on the experts-exchange link, and I see the "This question has been solved./..30 day free trial..." box, and when I scroll down, no answers anywhere.

      With the Greasemonkey script, I see what you're talking about...

      Very nice. Thank you.

  • by lennier1 (264730)

    In other words, they made a GUI version of "... -site:foo.com ..."?

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Only if you block out every site but one...

      site:foo.com is a whitelist
      This feature is a blacklist

      • by lennier1 (264730)

        Which is why there's a minus in front of it to negate the clause.

        • by nschubach (922175)

          Oh, I completely missed the '-' with the font. Either way, like the other child of your OP posted. It's stored server side so you don't need to do the manual restriction.

      • by msauve (701917)
        Get new glasses.

        site:foo.com is a whitelist
        -site:foo.com is a blacklist
  • by jandersen (462034) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:28PM (#35455052)

    Another neat recent addition was the introduction of Recipe View, which adds depth to food preparation searches.

    I wonder what it would make of:

    Bukkake udon: Cold udon served with various toppings liberally sprinkled on top

    - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon#Cold [wikipedia.org]

    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Friday March 11, 2011 @07:07PM (#35458196)

      Another neat recent addition was the introduction of Recipe View, which adds depth to food preparation searches.

      I wonder what it would make of:

      Bukkake udon: Cold udon served with various toppings liberally sprinkled on top

      - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon#Cold [wikipedia.org]

      Well, there was the udon, and other dishes, well before there was ... that other thing.

      "Bukkake" is from butsu, meaning to hit something, and kakeru, to cover something. Together the meaning is a bit like "to cover something with lots of stuff all at once" -- which, alone, is perfectly innocuous, and could easily refer to food toppings or heavy blankets. It's only in certain other contexts that this gets at all off-color.

      Cheers,

  • Perhaps a hundred other people did too, but 6 months ago I wrote a short spec to Google recommending exactly this feature.

    I also went on to describe a trust system whereby searching is fine-tuned by groups of people with similar interests. For example, an academic department could run a server that monitors the blocking of all authorised staff members. Over time, this should whittle out most of the crudy resources and other noise within a particular field, and thereby make research more efficient. This wo
  • by LA Thierry (923197) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:51PM (#35455362)
    I used to love browsing YouTube to discover truly funny or interesting random videos, but for quite a while now it's been overwhelmed by "YouTube celebrities" (*coughs* trolls). Please allow us to block videos from particular uploaders. In return we'll both benefit: I'll get what I want- a world without that Tard family, that unsexy guy or that fake community channel all of whom are polluting my YouTube experience. And you'll give me a reason to log into YouTube, which might please your advertisers.
  • I had someone block the domain since they thought it was "expert sex change."

  • by Zouden (232738) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:58PM (#35455452)

    I find that Experts-Exchange is all but gone from my (IT-related) search results, supplanted entirely by StackOverflow. I think EE were in trouble even without this Google feature.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Experts Exchange let google crawlers see the full content to boost their search ranks. Open the cached page in a search and scroll right to the bottom for the answers.

  • I hate that site. The answers are complete garbage, yet they almost always land on the front page of Google.

    Oh, how I'm going to love this feature.

  • by sdguero (1112795) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:24PM (#35455830)
    It'd be cool if google took users' blacklisting habit as feedback into their algorithm to determine page rank. I'd love to see sites like experts exchange and link farmers get dropped off the first page of results.
  • by BForrester (946915) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:25PM (#35455844)

    Man, I hate that fucking site and the idiots who post comments there.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:32PM (#35455948)

    So - if I want to leave out a site from ALL my searches, I first have to search for something this site responds to, visit the site, go back to Google and then search again?

    Why can't I block it without visiting? Why can't I add "-site:example.com" to my search term? Why can't I create a blacklist in my settings? Or upload a blacklist in a text file?

    It seems to me like having to call a phone sex line BEFORE you're able to set up a block for that phone number.

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