“When search results are minipulated, it begs the question – what are they trying to hide from users?” MB Raja
Once a source of freely available information for all, it would seem that Google can no longer be trusted to provide its users with unbais and unfiltered search results. We have known about this for a while now ( see Googles “Filter Bubble” And How It Influences Your Clicks ) but a recent investigation by the WSJ has blown the lid on the search giant to the masses.
In the past, the search giant has claimed that results are not curated, they are not manipulated, and there is no blacklisting of sites. Really?
Arguably the most powerful lines of computer code in the global economy, the Google algorithms that handle 3.8 million queries every single minute have a mass of contractors to control what you see – and do not see. These actions “have increased sharply since the 2016 election.” Google made 3,200 changes to its algorithms in 2018, an increase from 500 in 2010.
Engineers change all the other parts of Google search results regularly, including “knowledge panels,” “featured snippets,” and news results. Admittedly, these are not part of the basic search result algorithm. But they affect search results all the same.
Google also “keeps blacklists,” reported The Wall Street Journal, which in the United States include sites that feature child abuse or spam. But the company would never publicly admit to this. In fact, a Google spokesperson told the Journal, “We do today what we have done all along, provide relevant results from the most reliable sources available.” There is a blacklist of terms from the auto-complete function that initially simply left out terms that related to pornography. The current list of terms is not known.
Many people have found, as have we, that there traffic has been reduced dramatically over the past 24 months or so from google. It all makes sense now.