A. Edelstein
Web Design and Software Solutions
- Google Filter -

Have you tried searching for a business in Google lately? If you have, you know that the search results are often cluttered with page after page of Yelp clones and Yellow Pages knock-offs. If you want a review of, say, a local pizza place, you want real content, not a hundred sites each of which contains nothing more than a generic blurb, the pizza place's phone number and address and maybe (if you're lucky) a few barely-readable, one-line user reviews.

A search for amelio's montreal pizza review, for instance, returns links to yelp.ca, urbanspoon.com, tripadvisor.ca, 411.ca...In fact, the first two pages of the search contain (in my opinion), 15 junk results and only 5 decent ones.

Solutions do exist to filter your Google search results. You can permanently block websites through your Google account—but what if you only want to hide certain sites sometimes? You can use browser add-ons to hide results from certain sites—but they just hide them, so you get back half-empty pages of results (nothing makes you lose confidence in the web faster than seeing three pages of results in a row where EVERY single result is hidden). You can add -site tags to your Google queries, but when you want to block a hundred sites or more, that becomes ridiculous. The solution? Google Filter!

Google Filter sends your search query to Google and then parses the first page of results, suppressing any which match the block list you've specified. If this leaves few results, Google Filter automatically parses the second (third, fourth, fifth...) page as needed until a user-specified number of results have been found. Google Filter relies on JavaScript DOM methods and regular expressions to parse the pages of Google results and to build the new page of search results for the user. Every search result is also displayed with a handy block link underneath so that new sites can be blocked quickly and easily as you see (and hate) them. In Firefox, Google Filter can be used through the taskbar just like any other search engine.

Before Google Filter After Google Filter!

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