I created a free Chrome extension that block media conglomerates from appearing in Google search

Take that, shitty first page.

How much better would google searches be if you block 1000 most popular websites from appearing in google searches?

The answer is, quite a bit actually!

I impulsively created this extension with the help of Claude Opus in a day after reading this article, detailing how big media brands are unfairly ranked well on Google. So HouseFresh, this is for you guys.

Source: sparktoro.com

The problem, as discovered in a very recent Google algo leak, is that popular media brands have really high trust factor and rank very well on Google. Hence even if some stuff they write are garbage, those pages are still going to appear on the top search results.

Source: detailed.com

This article details how 16 media companies with almost 600 sites are dominating the world's Google Search results. It gives me a very funny idea, which is, if I can't stop them from dominating top search results, I can just block them out of my sight.

Some quotes:

Big media publishers are inundating the web with subpar product recommendations you can’t trust

Uncovering the cookie-cutter system well-known magazines and newspapers use to trick Google

Savvy SEOs at big media publishers (or third-party vendors hired by them) realized that they could create pages for ‘best of’ product recommendations without the need to invest any time or effort in actually testing and reviewing the products first.

So, they peppered their pages with references to a ‘rigorous testing process,’ their ‘lab team,’ subject matter experts ‘they collaborated with,’ and complicated methodologies that seem impressive at a cursory look.

Sometimes, they even added photos of ‘tests’ with products covered in Post-it notes, someone holding a tape measure, and people with very ‘scientific’ clipboards.

Private equity firms are utilizing public trust in long-standing publications to sell every product under the sun

In a bid to replace falling ad revenue, publishing houses are selling their publications for parts to media groups that are quick to establish affiliate marketing deals

At position #8, we have Popular Science, a magazine from 1872 that was sold to a private equity firm, North Equity LLC, in 2020. A year later, North Equity introduced Recurrent Ventures, a new arm of their business that runs all the media brands they acquired. A few months later, PopSci switched to an all-digital format. Two years later, in 2023, PopSci stopped being a magazine altogether.

Of course, most people won’t know that because the site still feels like the PopSci we all know and trust:

It doesn’t help that they have a ‘Why trust us’ section at the end of all their ‘Best of’ lists that says:

The vast majority of readers don’t know that the teams behind these product recommendations are far from the team of journalists and editors who built the brand behind the site.

It’s unfortunate because many people will click on that Popular Science article expecting a trustworthy list of products only to find a list of units that haven’t even been tested by PopSci’s team:

The 16 Companies Google Sends a Combined 3 Billion+ Clicks Per Month

The 16 companies in this report are behind at least 588 individual brands.

Combined, Semrush estimates they pick up around 3.5 billion clicks from Google each month. An average of 5.9 million monthly clicks per site.

Across 10,000 terms where affiliates are ranking, which cover products in every niche you can think of (home, beauty, tech, automotive, cooking, travel, sports, education and many more), these 16 companies ranked on the first page of 8,574 (or 85%) of them.

I published the extension on the Chrome store here that everyone can get for free.


It’s not a perfect system by any means. I’ve left some social media sites back, some obvious exclusions like stackoverflow (duh). There will be misfires, but for the most part, I don’t miss the results that are used to be there at all.

I’ve also open sourced the extension here. In the end, it’s a funny little experiment for me, and not something I would want to make money with. My hope is to bring more awareness to this problem with Google searches, and this is my way of doing something about it.

Maybe it will make the internet we're using just a little bit better. Maybe Google will finally stop giving free money to large media conglomerates and focus on making their searches useful again.

What am I saying, they are doing AI overviews. Nothing’s gonna change. At least I know what’s my next project will be, wink wink.

Check it out, share it with your friends if you find it useful. Let’s make the internet great again!