And here goes another product feature. Google has been retiring many of its products, services and product features in recent time in several so-called Spring cleaning rounds. The company only recently announced the closure of the RSS feed reading service Google Reader and several other products.
Today it became known that Google removed the blocked sites feature rather quietly from Google Search. The feature enabled users of Google's search engine to block select websites from appearing in the search results. That was quite handy to keep low quality sites from appearing in your search results.
Basically, if you added a domain to your blocked sites list you'd make sure that it would never again appear in the search results. Google for some time displayed a "block all domain results" when users returned to the search results after visiting one of the sites displayed on the page.
If you open the manage blocked sites page today on Google you are greeted with the message that the feature has been discontinued.
Manage Blocked Sites (DISCONTINUED)
We have discontinued offering the blocked sites feature for now. We continue to offer the Chrome extension for blocking sites, and will reconsider features for blocking unwanted search results in the future.
You may download your blocked sites list as a text file below.
Download as text file
You can download a text file from Google that contains all of the domains that have been blocked by the Google account accessing the website.
The text file lists all domain names in a file called blocked_sites.txt.
All domain names seem to be lumped together though in the text document so that it may be difficult to distinguish them from each other or import them into another script or program. They show up lumped together in Notepad but will display fine in better text editors such as Notepad++.
Google is promoting the company's official Chrome extension to block sites on Google Search when you are using Google Chrome. It fails to mention solutions for other browsers. Firefox users can take a look at the Google Domain Blocker userscript which lets them block domains in Google Search as well.
It is interesting to note that blocked sites was not Google's first attempt at adding a feature like it to its search engine. This may mean that we may see a similar feature appearing again in the future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.