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Block The Google Related Plugin From Your Site

If you follow search marketing news, or if you are a tech savvy internet user who likes to test out new gadgets and plug-ins then you have probably heard and/or used Google Related. If you haven’t heard of it, Google Related is a relatively new plug-in for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and some older versions of Firefox that acts as a web browsing assistant. As you brows the web and go to various websites, the Google Related toolbar will occasionally pop up at the bottom of your screen and provide you with other information related to the page and website that you are currently looking at (e.g. related news, related sites, related images, related videos, etc.). From a user perspective, its a pretty useful tool, especially when it comes to comparison shopping, related reviews and research.

However, form a business owner’s perspective, this tool could take traffic from your site and land them directly on a competitors site. For example, if you are an e-commerce store and someone navigates down to a product page, that generally means that they pretty high intent on buying. Imagine now that that person is using Google Related – they would be able to immediately compare prices, for the same item with your competitors. In the example below, this could mean losing business because your competitors have a lower price point:

Comparison Shopping With Google Related

Google Related shows competitors prices right on your site

As another example, what if you are a service-based business that uses your website to generate leads (e.g. an attorney)? In this case, Google Related will serve up related websites based on your content. See the example below:

Google Related Shows Competitor Websites

Google Related can show competitor websites as having related information

Many business owners that have seen this at work on their sites have complained, including several of our clients, because there is now way to opt out of this program. So we have come up with a simple solution to disable the Google Related plugin. Because this plugin depends on the use of an iframe, a simple change to your websites CSS style sheet will make this iframe invisible. Here is what the code for the plug-in looks like (pay particular attention to the highlighted section):

Google Related HTML Code

Google Related HTML Code

You can see that the code calls the iframe with the class style called “grelated-iframe”. All you have to do is make that style invisible – just add the following code to your CSS stylesheet:

display: none;

I have done some searches, and it seems that some of the bigger brands are unaffected by this because they have tons of relevant and related content on the web (e.g. toyota, ford, coca-cola, etc.) but most consumer products will be, especially as it relates to price comparison, and most content rich sites will be as well. From the user perspective, this is a good tool, and in certain cases, from a business owner’s perspective it is as well. It can help to reinforce your brand by showing all the various forms of content you have available (press releases, videos, reviews, etc.) It can also be used to find competitive niches that haven’t been tapped yet. For example, if you haven’t taken the time to develop video content, and your competitors have, Google Related will likely show you this.

However, if you find this plug-in to be a detriment to your site’s performance, feel free to add the small snippet of code to your CSS and voila, Google Related has been disabled on your site.

by +Mike Grinberg

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by +Mike Grinberg

3 Responses to “Block The Google Related Plugin From Your Site”

  1. I find that what they have done is really unacceptable. As much as it might seem that they are trying to help people out, it’s just a way for them to make money.

    I didn’t spend all my time designing my website, just to have them put ads on my design without my permission. I am a designer, and this thing detracts from my content.

    Secondly, they’re making money off of my website without my permission.

    Third, they’re steering people OFF of my website. How would they like it if Microsoft or Apple decided one day that they would block anything Google-related? Would that be fair?

    They’re begging for an anti-trust lawsuit. I hope the Department of Justice steps-in and tells them to back down off of this really bad, intrusive idea.

    I tried adding the script to my CSS, but the last I checked, this still wasn’t working.

  2. Web Dude says:

    Google has fought back against webmasters blocking it with this method!!

    Their iframe no longer has a class name at all, and all of the styling is inline with the !important tag, to make it untouchable basically.

    What now?? Google has truly crossed the line!!

    We blocked it with this type of method before, but starting last night or today, Google removed the class name so webmasters cannot hide it. Such an invasion of privacy and anti-trust laws.

  3. Keith says:

    I heard google related is now not using an iframe name and marking all their bars as !important making this code no longer work (and/or generate errors). How do we block it now? Thanks in advance!

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