While there are plenty of search engine options out there, some targeted to a niche and others more broad, Google remains the most commonly used and popular on the web. The problem is that the results offered are usually so varied and the algorithm used is so complex that it can be hard to find what you are looking for without more specific keywords.
During the past several years, Google has introduced changes to fix this problem. You can see live feeds, use different categories for search criteria, use exact terminology and customize your results. This has had a very positive effect. But the rating process means you will still have issues if you don't want certain domain results. This is because they rank highest or are featured results that advertise with the company.
Google is aware of the problem and therefore happy Google Chrome users have the official Personal Blocklist that lets them hide any domain from search results for whatever reason. But how about those who still stick with FireFox?
Luckily, they have an even better alternative!
Available for FireFox with Greasemonkey, Google Hit Hider is a very neat and usable userscript that allows you to block certain spammy, useless, offensive or just annoying websites from results.
The little block button will appear beside each result.
There are two ways to block domains, either by reducing the search result to a single line ("soft ban") or completely eliminating it from the results ("perma-ban"). It is all done by setting clicks, so no typing is necessary.
Here's how the search results look like when the domains are blocked using the "soft ban" option (the blocked domains in the screenshot are apple.com and en.wikipedia.org):
Sites can be removed from your block list at any time - there's a a badge saying "Manage Hiding" on all Google search results pages:
Clicking the badge lets you see your block list as well as "perma-ban" list:
Clicking any line in your block list will let you change the domain status:
- The first click unblocks the domain;
- The second link "perma-bans" the domain;
- The third links cancels any action:
Obviously, as a search marketer, you may feel skeptical: "If I hide certain domains, how do I find the real position of my page in Google search results?"
Well, firstly, there's no such a thing as a "real position", as even if you see your page ranked #4, other Google users may see it nowhere in top 10. Secondly, if you are using "the soft ban" (which still shows where the blocked domain should be in search result, you risk nothing: you are still able to see all search results while reducing the clutter of unwanted domains being ranked high.
On the plus side, if you are tired of seeing your stubborn competitor above your site in search results, you can use the script to at least view the search results without getting frustrated each time
This tiny utility is easy to install and simple to use. Do you have any plug-ins that will help customize search engines? Let us know in the comments.
Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.