Keep crap out of your Google searches with Personal Assistant

Block and tackle unwanted results in Google searches with this free Chrome extension.

Google remains the top Internet search engine, though it sometimes seems like an afterthought next to Google's more ambitious efforts, such as driving your car for you. But if you Google "Google," the top hits still refer to the online giant's bread and butter, searching for information. And Google hasn't exactly been ignoring the search side of the business while it's branched out into, well, pretty much everything else. Google's Personal Blocklist addresses one of the biggest shortcomings of Google's search engine, or any search engine, for that matter; the tendency to get hits on sites and domains that aren't of interest or use to you. Some sites might even be offensive; it's been known to happen on the Internet. This free Chrome extension lets you block specific Web sites and domains from appearing in your search results. Personal Blocklist transmits your user data and preferences to Google and updates them when you block or unblock an address.

Chrome extensions are a cinch to add, and Personal Blocklist's hold-it-right-there-buster icon appeared on our address bar. We clicked the button, and a message appeared informing us that we had no blocked sites and that we could add sites to block simply by clicking the link that appears after every URL in Google's search results. We opened Google and typed in a word guaranteed to bring return sites to block. Sure enough, all we had to do was click the links to add sites to Personal Blocklist. When we repeated our search, the blocked sites were absent from the results. You can block single sites or whole dot-com domains, or use it to filter out sites that tend to dominate your results and quickly unblock them when you're done. You can import lists of blocked sites, too.

Personal Blocklist is able to access your personal data on standard and encrypted Google domains, including your tabs and browsing activity and your list of installed apps, extensions, and themes. We encourage users to be aware of online privacy and security issues and developments, and to use tools like Personal Blocklist to enhance them.

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