Google has released an extension for its Chrome browser that will allow users to block sites in. With the plugin you can block domains/hosts from appearing in your Google search results.
At this point the plugin doesn’t extending blocking any further than a personal level, but we’d be naive to think that Google won’t be watching this data to assist in further developing their search algorithm. This step towards “edited” content is a page out of the Blekko book of search. Blekko is a new search engine that users human editing to help rank the sites that appear after the search query.
While this is big news, the cat was let out of the bag during the Farsight 2011 conference. Matt Cutts (Google) hinted at this development during his debate with Harry Shum (Bing) about Bing stealing search results from Google.
Does this mean that Google will start using human editing to improve their rankings? I don’t think so. Matt Cutts and those at Google have been pretty adamant about Google continuing on the algorithm path to keep their results impartial and automated. Google will likely use these signals to help improve what their algorithm can do. Matt Cutts recently addressed this thought on Hacker News.