Google has continued its recent trend of shutting down some of its services, with today’s Blocked Sites following on from Google Reader earlier this month. However, the search giant is at least offering an alternative this time: the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension – though of course you’ll need to be using the Chrome browser for that.
For those that didn’t use it, Google’s Blocked Sites allowed you to stop unwanted domains from showing up in search results. This let you punish irritating sites or just have your own personal blacklist of site’s you would never want to visit – giving you some semblance of control of Google’s insistent personalisation. Now though the service is gone, replaced by a Chrome-browser-only alternative.
As Wired points out though, the app doesn’t work quite the same way, as it blocks the sites client-side, not server-side, meaning you often see a flash of blocked sites before they disappear. This also means that the results are simply hidden, but not replaced, meaning your search results end up being fewer and less detailed because of it.
KitGuru Says: Can’t say I used this one myself, but I’m not a fan of Google constantly refining its personalised search results system. I’m all onboard with that TED talk on filter bubbles – we need to experience things outside of our preferences, just to keep things fresh.