Google has again evolved the personalised search feature to allow users to block domains from the main search results interface without having to install the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension to do so. The way to use this feature is that after a user clicks on one of the links in the search results then presses the back button, an option should appear next to the cached link to allow the user to block the whole domain from all results. This differs slightly from the old search wiki feature that allowed users to drop a page from one particular search query.
Now Google has publicly stated on it’s blog that it does not rely on the feedback it receives from the Personal Blocklist Chrome extension and we would assume this would be the same for feedback from this new feature. This statement was made after they had introduced an algorithm change to provide higher quality results by blocking a lot of the low quality content farms that were around. Google had also stated that they did do a comparison of the domains the new algorithm block to the feedback from the Chrome extension and there was an 84% correlation.
What does this all mean? Even though Google is not automatically using the blocked domain data to influence its search result, they are using it as an early detection system for domains that might be using highly aggressive ranking techniques that Google may deem as breaching its guidelines. So basically users who use personalised search are now part of a bigger quality control panel. Google is also using the blocked domain feedback data as a yardstick for its own algorithm.