New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites

(I have noticed this sudden drop as well)

by Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth from WSWS

In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.

On April 25, 2017, Google announced that it had implemented changes to its search service to make it harder for users to access what it called “low-quality” information such as “conspiracy theories” and “fake news.”

The company said in a blog post that the central purpose of the change to its search algorithm was to give the search giant greater control in identifying content deemed objectionable by its guidelines. It declared that it had “improved our evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates” in order “to surface more authoritative content.”

Google continued, “Last month, we updated our Search Quality Rater Guidelines to provide more detailed examples of low-quality webpages for raters to appropriately flag.” These moderators are instructed to flag “upsetting user experiences,” including pages that present “conspiracy theories,” unless “the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.”

Google does not explain precisely what it means by the term “conspiracy theory.” Using the broad and amorphous category of fake news, the aim of the change to Google’s search system is to restrict access to alternative web sites, whose coverage and interpretation of events conflict with those of such establishment media outlets as the New York Times and the Washington Post.

By flagging content in such a way that it does not appear in the first one or two pages of a search result, Google is able to effectively block users’ access to it. Given the fact that vast amounts of web traffic are influenced by search results, Google is able to effectively conceal or bury content to which it objects through the manipulation of search rankings.

Just last month, the European Commission fined the company $2.7 billion for manipulating search results to inappropriately direct users to its own comparison shopping service, Google Shopping. Now, it appears that Google is using these criminal methods to block users from accessing political viewpoints the company deems objectionable….

[read more here]

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5 Responses

  1. Search engines like Google or Yahoo! have always directed you to establishment, corporatist, war hawk, neoliberal, neocon or New Democrat-ish sources of information. This has been the case since the World Wide Web became mainstream in the latter half of the 90s. Even if you type progressive-sounding catchphrases, they’ll foist the same baloney content on you. If you want relatively more truthful reporting and commentary, you browse organizations like Press TV, the personal domains of journalists like Neil Clark or Pepe Escobar, or enlightened small sections inside the likes of Blogspot or Reddit.

    • I dunno about al that. True to an extent but for example, Google 9/11 Israel did it. Gottta know your search terms.

  2. Wow! Big Btother or what? Google needs effective competitors.

  3. I have gone to 4th and 5th pages and cannot find a mention of what I am searching for even though I know I have read articles – and not by fly by night publications. This is a blackout, not just making it a little more difficult.I am also not sure I would call it a progressive or left bias, although that I will have to think about. The ever-changing definitions of what those words even mean these days make it difficult to pigeon hole what I am searching for.

  4. There has definitely been a change in the last month at least.
    But the ‘private federal reserve conspiracy’ stuff keeps coming up.
    Hmmmmm.

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