Don't Like Content Farms? Help Google Block Them

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All you unpaid journalists and guardians of content quality can finally take revenge on the content arms clogging up your search results. Google released an extension for the Chrome browser that lets you blacklist sites from your searches -- and that sends that data back to Google. Presumably when a site reaches a certain threshold, its PageRank would drop, hurting its chances of showing up high in search results. GigaOm says it's a case of Google putting the onus on users to differentiate the real from the almost spam:

Google seems to be further acknowledging that it's got an issue here. The company previously said it's working on dealing with content farms. But now, it's empowering people to actually single out sites and block them. It's a quick and dirty way to address the problem by shifting the burden on to users instead of Google taking more of an active approach. It may be that Google is looking for better guidance on what people think a low-quality content farm. One person's how-to video is another person's spam.

Read the full story at GigaOm.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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