Bill Hartzer

Black Out Your Google Listing in the Google Search Results

As you know, I am a pretty big fan of Mixx, and I have been using Mixx for a while now, ever since day one. Anyhow, Mixx is not really the focus here; although Mixx is the main reason behind my discovering the fact that you can essentially “black out” virtually your entire listing in the Google search results.

Here is a screen shot of a fellow Mixx user blacking out one line in his Google search result:

I took a look at the Google cache of this page, and it just so happens that this user had decided to put some code in his Mixx profile page that looked really great on his Mixx profile. But, probably by mistake, this Mixx user’s Google search result actually has a line blacked out in the search results.

If you’re wondering what the Google cache looks like, here is a screen shot of it:

This search result certainly brings up some questions about Google’s search results. What would happen if you were to use those characters as a meta description tag on an html page and get that page indexed? Certainly it might draw more attention to that page’s Google search result, causing more people to click on it?

Or, in fact, would the reverse happen? Would the users think that Google–on purpose–is blacking out part of the listing? What do you think?

I took a look at the listing on Yahoo! Search to see how Yahoo! handles the characters in their search result:

Turns out that Yahoo! knows how to deal with the characters, so there is not any blackout on a Yahoo! search result.

Let’s take a look at how MSN deals with it. Same thing as Yahoo!. No blackouts:

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