Will Users Blocking My Site Hurt Me? The Answer is NO
WRITTEN by: Jerrod Swanton |
Google is constantly working on improving their search results by tweaking their search algorithm. Earlier this year Google introduced a feature that allows users to block a site from appearing in their search results. Say you are using Google to search, see a site in the results, click on it, find it unhelpful, offensive, or for whatever reason you never want to see it again in your results, you can block it. Once a site is blocked it will not appear again in your results unless you add it back. To activate this feature you need to be logged into your Google account. You will notice this feature beside Cache and Similar, but it only appears after you have visited the site and have returned to the search results.
This feature started as a way for individual users to customize their own individual search results as it wasn’t incorporated into Google’s algorithm, but that has all changed. On Wednesday Google increased the significance of this feature by starting to incorporate these individual “blocks” into their algorithm in order to help users find more relevant and quality sites in the “regular” search results.
This leaves a lot of business owners and webmasters wondering how this information will be incorporated into the search results. I can think of many reasons to block a site from personalized results other than it is a low quality site. Now before you get too concerned that these individual blocks will hurt your site it is important to remember that Google is drawing from a large number of users (this is an understatement) and that it should take a lot of blocked results to have any effect on your site (how many +1s does it take to help?). What it does indicate is that personalized results (when logged in to Google users’ search history and location effect the results they see) and social signals (FB Likes, tweets, and +1’s are used in determining the general results) are becoming more and more important in Google’s algorithm and in doing so becomes more important to the success of your website.