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Old 24th May 2006, 11:17 AM   #1
thejenn
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Default Is Google Dropping Sites They Disagree With?

Authored by: Jennifer Laycock

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/007617.html

A Snippet:

There's some buzz moving around the blogosphere that speculates on whether the left-leaning ideology behind one of the most popular search sites on the Internet may be tainting their ability to provide unbiased results through the Google News search engine and through the actual Google Web search.

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Old 24th May 2006, 12:15 PM   #2
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Just to be sure this doesn't lead into a political debate I need to point out the forum rules on political discussions:

We're here to support each other in our small business endeavors, not argue about politics. The only political discussion/commentary that will be allowed will be if it is directly and specifically related to small businesses. For example, if you wish to name and discuss a specific law or pending legislation that affects small businesses, that is fine. If you mention the name of a politician or generically ask people to get the vote out because things are bad/good, your post will be edited without notice.

Now, my personal opinion is this... if Google really is blocking content or sites they disagree with, that's their right to do so. I may not like it, but no one is forcing me to use Google. Plus, they are free to censor whatever they like... they are a company in the private sector.

And, if this were true to an extent that it became a huge issue, then our Capitalist system here in the USA or Australia or elsewhere will make it possible for a competitor to come in and fill the need for an alternative.

Yay Capitalism!



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Old 24th May 2006, 02:02 PM   #3
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Yep, the discussion needs to stay on the issue of a company having the right to not include sites that they disagree with and whether or not they should fully disclose the issue.

If Google wants to say no conservative sites, or no Christian sites or no tree-hugger sites, that's their right, just as it's my right to use another engine. That said, I'd like to see full disclosure. If you have a problem with a set of beliefes, then be brave enough to stand up and say so, don't hide behind sketchy TOS and company statements that are made to sound like you treat everyone equally.

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Old 28th May 2006, 10:24 AM   #4
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To me it is summed up by saying that people are making their own assumptions based on 'hit or miss' happenings. I don't think it is anything more or less based on my experiences directly with Google.

On the flipside, I'd seriously love to see someone take the approach as to 'what would it take for google (or another major search engine) to do what the conspiracy theories claim". How feasible/realistic would it be to even try for them to do what was proposed. (i.e. google can't entirely control google bombing)

A better test, imo, would be to directly test submitting your own bias ads. I think you'll get hit or miss... but there is no reason anyone can not test this themselves versus working off of anecdotal evidence.

Regardless, I just don't think they are trying to shape google towards a particular slant - although everything has some bias based on the perspective of the person involved.

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Old 29th May 2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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I agree that Google certainly has the right to block any content they wish, though it would seem to be a poor business decision if they are doing this.

Usually whenever I've come across someone complaining about Google blocking their site it often has more to do with poor optimization for Google than anything else. Though it's certainly possible I question whether or not Google is really blocking sites they politically disagree with.

I did find the seemingly skewed political ads interesting and I think I'll pay a little more attention to some of the results I see in searches from now on, particularly the ads.

Google certainly has the right to show whatever content they want on their site. However it would be a shame if they really were slanting results in some way to promote a political agenda.

Something tells me this might be sour grapes by a few website owners, but it's certainly within the realm of possibilty and worth exploring a little more.

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Old 30th May 2006, 01:48 PM   #6
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I believe we all agree that you can do anything you want with your site including Google. I think some blockage may have something to do with what ever is happening to the latest update. Google has been fairly open on what they expect for a site to be listed. Have not seen anything about political leanings from them. Maybe its timing and some leaning political sites to have new marketing budgets and it is no more than a coincidence.

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Old 14th June 2006, 06:10 AM   #7
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I have a very good feeling about Google's honesty policy. I don't consider that the fact that some news didn't appear on Google News is a matter of bad policy. My vote is for this: it's merely an accident that certain news don't appear on Google News. It could happen anytime.

There are a lot of users of Google News, not only in the US, and Google just doesen't afford being on one side or another. If the word spread out, then we would have users running away from Google (not only Google News) immediately.

Saying you like one party/religion/sports club presents this dilemma: you will win almost no users if you say your conviction (if you share my conviction, this doesen't mean I will user your product), but you will certainly lose a lot of users if you say out loud your party/religion/sports club (I hate you for your conviction, I will not use your product).

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Old 17th January 2007, 10:08 PM   #8
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While Google certainly can do whatever they want with their SE, they also, as was stated in the article, have a moral obligation to deliver on what they claim to provide. Which is accurate, unbiased links and information. Tweaking the algorithims for any purpose, political or not, would basically make their service a fraud and hopefully people would go elsewhere for the services they seek when it comes to SE's.

As for the political bias, I can pretty much say that it is quite evident. One of the sites I run is a conservative political forum. I have used (but will probably drop very soon) AdSense on the site for over a year and without fail, virtually every AdSense link that is related to politics that appears there is for a liberal cause. At least a 98% ratio. (No joke) Even when I filter out the links I do want to appear there, some of them come right back within a few days or weeks, which shows me that their filter, at least, is worthless.

All of this is even more interesting considering that another site that I run is all about beauty, skin care, hair care etc and the AdSense links displayed there are very much in line with the site's content. Pretty much the same for a movie fansite I run. But, the conservative site gets bombed with liberal links. I do not think it is just a coincidence.

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Old 19th January 2007, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
the conservative site gets bombed with liberal links. I do not think it is just a coincidence.
I think it is simply because those are the keywords those advertisers are bidding on. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are unsure of this, you should set yourself up as an advertiser and bid on keywords and see how it works for yourself.

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Old 21st January 2007, 10:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
I think it is simply because those are the keywords those advertisers are bidding on. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are unsure of this, you should set yourself up as an advertiser and bid on keywords and see how it works for yourself.
Actually, I keep keywords such as "liberal", "progressive" "democrat" etc. out of the keyword list, since of course, that would attract more ads of that type.

This is the only site that I use AdSense on that has this kind of trouble. A couple of my client's sites that use AdSense, that are beauty and skincare related, get excellent matches within AdSense. Also, one my personal sites, which is a fansite for the movie, "Nosferatu", gets decent matches via it's content.

That is why I am more than a little suspicious, seeing that the content on the board is political.

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