In connection with the Project Veritas report that outed Google’s manipulation of search results, other sites also reported being affected by Google’s censorship, this included a number of cryptocurrency websites. Well, joining in on those complaints of censorship are alternative health sites, who believe that big pharmaceutical corporations are working with Google to suppress results for alternative health solutions and medicine.
In a two part series detailing how after the June 3rd, 2019 algorithm update that Google rolled out, the Mercola.com website no longer appears in the search results for the popular terms it used to. They show a metric rating of visitors from 2017 to 2019, and the Google traffic has tanked.
According to site owner, Dr. Joseph Mercola, this is because Google is suppressing content that no longer adheres to their principles, even if the content is well-sourced and peer-reviewed, writing…
“Google used to rank pages based on whether an author could prove their expertise based on how many people visited a page or the number of other reputable sites that linked to that page. No more.
“As you may have noticed, we’ve stayed on top of this, even creating a peer review panel of medical and scientific experts that review, edit and approve most articles before they’re published. This is in addition to my own medical expertise as a board-certified physician.
“My articles are also fully referenced, most containing dozens of references to studies published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Alas, none of this now matters, as the very fact that the information I present typically contradicts industry propaganda places me in the lowest possible rating category.”
Mercola also published a video on YouTube explaining the connection Google has to big pharma and the military, as well as how they attempt to suppress information.
Dr. Mercola doesn’t provide many keywords that they used to dominate that no longer apply to the site, so it’s tough to tell how they’ve been impacted by the change. Also, the lack of before and after evidence makes it difficult to tell how much of an impact the algorithm had on their page rank and search placement under certain keywords. There’s also the issue of the site not being listed in GNews, so it makes it even hard to determine how much of an impact it had on new articles being produced.
What we do know is that Dr. Marcola is definitely right in terms of how the site is depicted on Google versus how Bing and Yahoo display the site.
A prime example is that if you go to Yahoo.com and search up “Mercola.com” the results return all things related to the website. The official homepage, video results, newest stories, and top pages from the site. It’s basically an information repository for Mercola.com, which is how it should be. You can check the Yahoo.com archived search results for the terms “Mercola.com” and “Joseph Mercola”.
The results are, for the most part, neutral.
The same applies if you search up “Joseph Mercola” or “Mercola.com” on Bing.com, as evidenced by the archived search results.
If you go to Google, however, the results are quite different. If you search up “Mercola.com” directly after the main website you get results from Quake Watch, Wikipedia, Chicago Mag, and Science Based Medicine all on the first page, majority of which are all negative toward Mercola. You can see the returns from the archived search results. The same applies to if you search up “Joseph Mercola”, with the first two results being from Mercola.com, while the rest are mostly negative and aimed at discrediting Mercola, as evident via the archived search results.
The site also pointed out how Google uses “Quality Raters” to rate websites and then use that information to determine how they’re affected by the algorithm. The “Raters” were part of a separate detailed piece by Ars Technica published back in April of 2017, which went in depth about their poor pay and uncertain working conditions due to the contracting firm that works with Google attempting to skirt employment laws.
But it wasn’t just Mercola who was affected by this. Sayer Ji’s GreenMedInfo.com, was another site that was greatly impacted by these changes. They posted an article about how the search returns have been heavily suppressed for certain websites, including their own.
In a piece published on June 26th, 2019, Ji lists various examples of auto-complete search terms for “vaccines cause” and none of the auto-complete terms included “autism”, despite the fact that it’s a highly popular search term, regardless of its veracity. You can also compare the auto-complete results with “vaccines cause autism” in Google Trends to see which ones have more search volume.
In the piece, Ji wrote…
“In order to ascertain what the actual search volume for the term in question is, we went to another Google product called Google trends which allows you to see the volume, and what people are searching for, over time. So, we compared the searches: “Vaccines Cause Adults” with “Vaccines Cause Autism.” You’ll see the profound disparity in volume between the two, in favor of the latter.
“Amazingly, Google states that the auto-suggestions are “predictions, not suggestions.” Here’s their official statement […]
”Clearly, this demonstrates with Google’s own data that they are intentionally removing certain auto-suggestions from their search to cover up the truth about what people are actually searching for. This also corroborates the hypothesis that they are censoring sites critical of vaccines, or which question vaccine safety; namely, natural health and health freedom promoting websites like our own.”
There’s also a follow-up piece on Greenmedinfo.com, noting that Google is promoting big pharmaceutical companies while buffering negative results against homeopathy, supplements, and natural health.
This was supposedly corroborated by Dr. Kelly Brogan’s site also being affected by Google’s new algorithm change, and the results were extremely drastic and quite undeniable. She posted up the impressions from May to June in 2019 following the June 3rd algorithm roll-out, and the site’s impressions went from close to 225,000 down to around 15,000 impressions.
Dr. Brogan avoids ascribing an agenda to Google’s new update, instead focusing on how health sites will need to adapt to these changes, writing…
“For example, we used to have first page content for terms like “psychoneuroimmunology” or “gut brain.” And now we aren’t in the first 10 (I gave up after ten pages!) of Google.
“Without ascribing an agenda to this Google algorithm update, it’s clear that sites like greenmedinfo.com, naturalnews.com, and mercola.com are having to reconsider how we can support informed consent and natural healing options because when you know better, you do better. Much of the science that we share is widely available in its published form, however, many rely on the democratization of internet information to help in the curation and interpretation of it. So now we have to get more creative.”
However, there is an agenda.
More leaks were made available during the middle of June in a report published by the Daily Caller, which seems to overlap with what’s affecting some of these health sites.
In the article the Daily Caller explains that there are two blacklists, one of which centers around removing web results for questions that Google determines is an opinion. They write…
“In one of the changelogs for the web answers blacklist, a Googler alludes to the blacklisting of all opinion content for web answers.
“’We are going to be removing opinion docs from all of newsey/political/sensitive webanswers. So, BLing any document that we consider to be clearly opinion is not an issue,’ the note says.”
The blacklist affects both Conservative and Liberal sites, with one of the examples in the Daily Caller article from the leak being an editorial by The Washington Post titled “How Vladimir Putin Became The World’s Favorite Dictator,”.
A Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller that they don’t affect the page rank results for these websites, but in a separate leak there was another blacklist called “all_fringe_domains”, in which Google attempts to de-rank or suppress the views of content from websites considered “fringe”. The Daily Caller explained…
“A portion of the fringe domains list was shared with The Daily Caller. On it are the American Spectator, Breitbart, Breaking911, the website of pastor Brian Jones, the website of Bring Your Bible to School Day, Consortium News (published by Robert Parry), St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, speakerryan.com, The Franklin Society (a cryptocurrency blog), Free Thought Project, The Gateway Pundit, and The Gorka Briefing.
“In addition, several blogs critical of conservatives are on the fringe domains blacklist, including Breitbart Unmasked and Spencer Watch, a blog critical of Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer.”
The Free Thought Project was also censored by Facebook and Twitter in October of 2018 last year. So they seem to be a general target of Big Tech.
RT.com also reported on Google’s biases following the Daily Caller piece, noting…
“A recent study found that Google’s search algorithms display a “left-leaning ideological skew,” while video footage of an internal company meeting recorded after the 2016 election showed executives calling Donald Trump’s victory “deeply offensive” and talking about using AI to fight populism in future.
“YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, implemented a blanket ban on “hateful” and “supremacist” videos last week. The ban, which came about after Vox journalist Carlos Maza led a campaign against conservative shock-jock Steven Crowder, swept away or demonetized thousands of videos critical of the social justice movement and several video reports on extremist movements by legitimate journalists.”
But now health sites seem to be part and parcel for catching the axe on the censorship platter.
In this case, Google is tightening the noose so much that if your site falls afoul of their algorithm it’s practically lights out. They don’t even explain why or what you can do to fix it.
The funny thing is, Google continues to claim they don’t manually manipulate the search results, but it doesn’t matter at this point because they do manipulate the algorithm that affects the search results. It’s a semantics game that they use to weasel out of culpability, and it gives them just enough room for deniability of wrongdoing or malfeasance.
Of course, suppressing or censoring content affects the livelihoods of the people running big websites, and in turn that’s affecting the economy where those websites are located. On the upside the Department of Justice is investigating Google for antitrust violations, according to Bloomberg, but whether anything will come of it is a completely different story.
(Thanks for the news tips npcomplete)