Is data about the sites that users block being used in ranking?


Today's question comes from Cardiff, UK. Tristan Perry wants to know, hi Matt. To what extent is the data from Google's relatively new 'block results from this domain' SERP feature-- that's Search Engine Result Pages feature-- being used as a ranking signal? So if you went back, we talked a little bit about this in a post that we did, I think, in April about Panda. So the second iteration of Panda that we did, did start to incorporate this as a ranking signal. Now, we have to be a little bit careful because we don't want people to try to spam it. So we don't produce a lot of information about how many people have blocked specific domains or things like that. But if we have very high confidence that a large number of people really don't like a site, as evidenced by the number of times that they blocked the site, and those people look relatively real to us, so we have some idea that it's not just someone trying to spam it-- and there are different ways that we can try to detect that-- then we are incorporating that as a ranking signal to potentially affect rankings. And that has actually been pretty useful. We find that it does mirror a lot of what our evaluation raters say, a lot of what our intuition and experience as ranking engineers say. And so we are using that as a signal and starting out in some relatively narrow scopes. But it does match with our intuitions. And so we have started to use that data.

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