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Google’s New Search Protocol Is Restricting Access to 13 Leading Socialist, Progressive and Anti-war Web Sites
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New data compiled by the World Socialist Web Site, with the assistance of other Internet-based news outlets and search technology experts, proves that a massive loss of readership observed by socialist, anti-war and progressive web sites over the past three months has been caused by a cumulative 45 percent decrease in traffic from Google searches.

The drop followed the implementation of changes in Google’s search evaluation protocols. In a statement issued on April 25, Ben Gomes, the company’s vice president for engineering, stated that Google’s update of its search engine would block access to “offensive” sites, while working to surface more “authoritative content.”

The World Socialist Web Site has obtained statistical data from SEMrush estimating the decline of traffic generated by Google searches for 13 sites with substantial readerships. The results are as follows:

  • fell by 67 percent
  • fell by 63 percent
  • fell by 62 percent
  • fell by 47 percent
  • fell by 47 percent
  • fell by 42 percent
  • fell by 37 percent
  • fell by 36 percent
  • fell by 36 percent
  • fell by 30 percent
  • fell by 25 percent
  • fell by 21 percent
  • fell by 19 percent

Of the 13 web sites on the list, the World Socialist Web Site has been the most heavily affected. Its traffic from Google searches has fallen by two thirds.

The new statistics demonstrate that the WSWS is a central target of Google’s censorship campaign. In the twelve months preceding the implementation of the new Google protocols, the WSWS had experienced a substantial increase in readership. A significant component of this increase was the product of Google search results. The rapid rise in search traffic reflected the well-documented growth in popular interest in socialist politics during 2016. The rate of growth accelerated following the November election, which led to large protests against the election of Trump.

Search traffic to the WSWS peaked in April 2017, precisely at the point when Google began the implementation of its censorship protocols.

Another site affected by Google’s action has provided information that confirms the findings of the WSWS.

“In late May, changes to Google’s algorithm negatively impacted the volume of traffic to the Common Dreams website from organic Google searches,” said Aaron Kaufman, director of development at progressive news outlet Common Dreams. “Since May, traffic from Google Search as a percentage of total traffic to the Common Dreams website has decreased nearly 50 percent.”

The extent and impact of Google’s actions prove that a combination of techniques is being employed to block access to targeted sites. These involve the direct flagging and blackballing of the WSWS and the other 12 sites listed above by Google evaluators. These sites are assigned a highly negative rating that assures that their articles will be either demoted or entirely bypassed. In addition, new programming technology teaches the computers to think like the evaluators, that is, to emulate their preferences and prejudices.

Finally, the precision of this operation strongly suggests that there is an additional range of exclusion techniques involving the selection of terms, words, phrases and topics that are associated with socialist and left-wing websites.

This would explain why the World Socialist Web Site, which focuses on issues such as war, geopolitics, social inequality and working class struggles has experienced such a dramatic fall in Google-generated searches on these very topics. We have seen that the very terms and phrases that would under normal circumstances be most likely to generate the highest level of hits—such as “socialism,” “Marxism” and “Trotskyism”—produce the lowest results.

This is an ongoing process in which one can expect that Google evaluators are continuously adding suspect terms to make their algorithm ever more precise, with the eventual goal of eliminating traffic to the WSWS and other targeted sites.

The information that has been gathered and published by the WSWS during the past week exposes that Google is at the center of a corporate-state conspiracy to drastically curtail democratic rights. The attack on free speech and uncensored access to information is aimed at crippling popular opposition to social inequality, war and authoritarianism.

The central and sinister role of Google in this process demonstrates that freedom of speech and thought is incompatible with corporate control of the Internet.

As we continue our exposure of Google’s assault on democratic rights, we demand that it immediately and unequivocally halt and revoke its censorship program.

It is critical that a coordinated campaign be organized within the United States and internationally against Google’s censorship of the Internet. We intend to do everything in our power to develop and contribute to a counter-offensive against its efforts to suppress freedom of speech and thought.

The fight against corporate-state censorship of the Internet is central to the defense of democratic rights, and there must be a broad-based collaboration among socialist, left and progressive websites to alert the public and the widest sections of the working class.


• • •

Google’s chief search engineer legitimizes new censorship algorithm (July 31, 2017)

Between April and June, Google completed a major revision of its search engine that sharply curtails public access to Internet web sites that operate independently of the corporate and state-controlled media. Since the implementation of the changes, many left wing, anti-war and progressive web sites have experienced a sharp fall in traffic generated by Google searches. The World Socialist Web Site has seen, within just one month, a 70 percent drop in traffic from Google.

In a blog post published on April 25, Ben Gomes, Google’s chief search engineer, rolled out the new censorship program in a statement bearing the Orwellian title, “Our latest quality improvements for search.” This statement has been virtually buried by the corporate media. Neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal has reported the statement. The Washington Post limited its coverage of the statement to a single blog post.

Framed as a mere change to technical procedures, Gomes’s statement legitimizes Internet censorship as a necessary response to “the phenomenon of ‘fake news,’ where content on the web has contributed to the spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information.”

The “phenomenon of ‘fake news’” is, itself, the principal “fake news” story of 2017. In its origins and propagation, it has all the well-known characteristics of what used to be called CIA “misinformation” campaigns, aimed at discrediting left-wing opponents of state and corporate interests.

Significantly, Gomes does not provide any clear definition, let alone concrete examples, of any of these loaded terms (“fake news,” “blatantly misleading,” “low quality, “offensive,” and “down right false information.”)

The focus of Google’s new censorship algorithm is political news and opinion sites that challenge official government and corporate narratives. Gomes writes: “[I]t’s become very apparent that a small set of queries in our daily traffic (around 0.25 percent), have been returning offensive or clearly misleading content, which is not what people are looking for.”

Gomes revealed that Google has recruited some 10,000 “evaluators” to judge the “quality” of various web domains. The company has “evaluators—real people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments.” The chief search engineer does not identify these “evaluators” nor explain the criteria that are used in their selection. However, using the latest developments in programming, Google can teach its search engines to “think” like the evaluators, i.e., translate their political preferences, prejudices, and dislikes into state and corporate sanctioned results.

Gomes asserts that these “evaluators” are to abide by the company’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, which “provide more detailed examples of low-quality webpages for raters to appropriately flag, which can include misleading information, unexpected offensive results, hoaxes and unsupported conspiracy theories.”

Once again, Gomes employs inflammatory rhetoric without explaining the objective basis upon which negative evaluations of web sites are based.

Using the input of these “evaluators,” Gomes declares that Google has “improved our evaluation methods and made algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content.” He again asserts, further down, “We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content.”

What this means, concretely, is that Google decides not only what political views it wants censored, but also what sites are to be favored.

Gomes is clearly in love with the term “authoritative,” and a study of the word’s meaning explains the nature of his verbal infatuation. A definition given by the Oxford English Dictionary for the word “authoritative” is: “Proceeding from an official source and requiring compliance or obedience.”

The April 25 statement indicates that the censorship protocols will become increasingly restrictive. Gomes states that Google is “making good progress” in making its search results more restrictive. “But in order to have long-term and impactful changes, more structural changes in Search are needed.”

One can assume that Mr. Gomes is a competent programmer and software engineer. But one has good reason to doubt that he has any particular knowledge of, let alone concern for, freedom of speech.

Gomes’s statement is Google-speak for saying that the company does not want people to access anything besides the official narrative, worked out by the government, intelligence agencies, the main capitalist political parties, and transmitted to the population by the corporate-controlled media.

In the course of becoming a massive multi-billion dollar corporate juggernaut, Google has developed politically insidious and dangerous ties to powerful and repressive state agencies. It maintains this relationship not only with the American state, but also with governments overseas. Just a few weeks before implementing its new algorithm, in early April, Gomes met with high-ranking German officials in Berlin to discuss the new censorship protocols.

Google the search engine is now a major force for the imposition of state censorship.


(Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Censorship, Deep State, Google 
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  1. Maybe something sinister has happened but mere loss of hits doesn’t prove it and it would be interesting to know what the previous algorithms were, what they ate now and what can be argued as ideal (and from what point of view and on what principles).

    • Replies: @Erebus
  2. There is one reason.

    It’s not because of their ‘leftist’ politics.

    It’s because certain views on left is anti-Zionist or anti-Wars-for-Israel.

    • Agree: Mark Green, Kiza, Talha
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    , @lavoisier
  3. Cognoscenti no longer bestow credulity on Official Narratives promulgated by the Goolag Deep Swamp search engine.

  4. utu says:

    Alt-right will not care. They rather keep dancing with SJW’s wrestling about identity politics. They just like their dance partners SJWs are so distracted with the identity politics that it never occur to them that identity politics was invented for the sole purpose of keeping them distracted. Divide et impire seems always to work. Just new lines of divisions must be created.

  5. Dan Hayes says:

    The ecumenical efforts of Ron Unz continues with republishing from the World Socialist Web Site.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  6. Ace says:

    Google is entitled to its worthless opinions about what is or is not a quality website. It’s outrageous that it presumes to limit actual access to sites. If it wants to “help” users by putting a strengst verboten skull and crossbones image on search results that’s actually very helpful. It would educate users on how what Google’s agenda is and demonstrate that it’s anything but an honest utility. As it is we’re left to wonder what standards are applied and who these evaluators are. Betcha Gomes met with the Kehane woman for instructions from that devotee of free speech.

    I don’t get the apparent attack on lefty sites. Perhaps it’s more evenly distributed and the results were obtained from a too-limited sample.

    • Replies: @art guerrilla
  7. Erebus says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    … what they ate now…

    A fallopian slip, Wiz?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  8. Alden says:

    Who cares? Socialists and progressives hate Whites as much as capitalists do. So F them all.

  9. Internet censorship is being established anywhere, from GB to recently in Germany.

  10. @Erebus

    Yes I think it did happen pre-conception (though not because of any preconception I can discern).

  11. @utu

    You must repeat your homework boy. Write out 20 times


    • Replies: @utu
  12. Would someone care to explain how the search-and-display-results algorithms work?

    Presumably it doesn’t mean that you won’t get those sites somewhere in Google’s list if you keep on scrolling down. And I would guess too that you will still get them quite high on the list if your search words compel it. A lengthy direct quote from one of the disfavoured sources would presumably not be relegated in favour of something merely similar from the NYT????

    • Replies: @7.62mm
  13. The Scalpel says: • Website

    Is there a good alternative to Google? I used Alta Vista back in the day

    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    , @CK
    , @7.62mm
  14. mastodon says:

    So dont use it, personally prefer duckduckgo. be aware and act accordingly…..

  15. Anonymous [AKA "George Gordon"] says:

    So which Search Engine is the best to go for, for unbiased results?

  16. neutral says:

    Lets not be coy here and get straight to the point, alt-right is pro white, preserving the white race is the absolute number one priority, topics such government type, tax rates, individual rights, etc, will always be secondary concerns compared to racial identity. It is not a “distraction” to play identity politics, it is the very reason for our existence, racial identity is a basic evolutionary trait, it was not invented by anybody.

    I am fully aware Google (and the CIA/The Economist/The Guardian/NYT/Facebook/Washington Post/etc) are pro corporate and big deep state, but (and The Intercept/alternet/globalresearch/etc) are just as anti white. Both are completely fine with flooding white lands with endless amounts of third worlders, whether the reason is to create cheaper labour costs, dismantle any chance of resistance to their particular ideology, or simply a pure anti white animus – I don’t care, both are considered rivals.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
  17. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Looks like that start-up money Google got from the CIA venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel is paying off handsomely

  18. Che Guava says:

    Well, that is all a laugh.

    I am reading things on WSWS on occasion, occasionally a good article or review.

    The stupid site is run by stupid Trotskyists (am forgetting the name of the stupid groupuscle party that runs it), who want to limit anyone else’s speech, so ROFLMAO at whining about stupid Google having a new process to (accidentally)
    lowering the frequency of search hits on there.

    • Replies: @CK
  19. n230099 says:

    If Google has a search algorithm ‘design’ for this topic or site, it has ‘designs’ for numerous others also. Hopefully the writer here is not of the opinion that he/she alone is being ‘picked on’.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  20. biz says:

    WSW and all of the other mentioned socialist/communist orgs are 100% in on identity politics and intersectionality anyway now. There is no part of the far left that isn’t these days.

  21. Noah Way says:

    O’Neill’s paper for the first time outlined a strategy for “perception management” as part of information warfare (IW). O’Neill’s proposed strategy identified three categories of targets for IW: adversaries, so they believe they are vulnerable; potential partners, “so they perceive the cause [of war] as just”; and finally, civilian populations and the political leadership so they “perceive the cost as worth the effort.”

    How the CIA made Google

  22. First they came for the alt-right but we didn’t care because they were all fascist pigs and they all deserved to die. Then they came for spreaders of “hate speech” but we didn’t care because we got to define hate speech and they all deserved to die. Then they came for the Trump supporters but we didn’t care because Trump was evil, we didn’t want him as our president, and anyone who supported him should die.

    And then they came for us.

  23. @The Scalpel is pretty good and doesn’t track one like so any of the others do. My sister, a reference librarian, recommended it to me about five years ago and I now seldom use anything else. I do use Google when I’m doing odd, non-political things like researching family history. In situations like that the wide net Google casts can be useful. The many obvious and well-publicized instances of Google redirection, e.g., towards negative stories on Trump and positive stories on Clinton in the last election, turned me against Google. Their illegal and unprincipled firing of Damore has made me vow to use any other search engine I can find before I ever again resort to Google’s totalitarian system.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @lavoisier
  24. KenH says:

    Google shouldn’t be accused of anti-socialist bias. They’re new search algorithm just punishes sites that don’t tow the (((neo-con))) line on the issues. Right wing sites are suffering as well. They have also targeted pro-white sites and sources unfriendly to diversity and multiculturalism.

    About two weeks ago I did a search for black on white rape and Google returned many stories trying to debunk the one-sidedness of this epidemic whereas a couple of years ago there was a wealth of data supporting the pro-white cause.

    Now that Google has been taken over by diversity commissars I’ll need to find a new search engine.

    • Replies: @Avery
  25. Hu Mi Yu says:

    Google has been messing with their original excellent search algorithm for a long time. They keep dumbing it down to give me results I didn´t ask for. Among other things it increases ad revenue if I have to look at more pages to find what I want. Yahoo went the same road and became useless. Then google came along. Soon someone else will come along with a more accurate search engine.

    I tend to use duckduckgo these days, but for some searches I use google advanced search.
    Its greater precision doesn´t give as many extraneous results. Not so easy to bury things in a pile of irrelevancy.

  26. “Kill Whitey” used to bring up all sorts of Black Panthers, loon professors, and so on saying exactly that. Now it doesn’t.

  27. Avery says:

    {About two weeks ago I did a search for black on white rape and Google ….}

    Interesting: you may have something there.

    I did a small test just now on both Google and DuckDuckGo: same search text; “black on white rape stats”.

    The search results on Google are strikingly different from DuckDuckGo.
    I didn’t bother drilling down the links: no time, no interest.
    But the link titles sure tell a story.



    Have been using DuckDuckGo for a month or so.
    It seems pretty good in returning results which largely match what I was looking for.

    • Replies: @KenH
  28. remember the shit google fed the retards when it left china? :)))

  29. The World Socialist Web Site has obtained statistical data from SEMrush estimating the decline of traffic generated by Google searches for 13 sites with substantial readerships.

    I’m betting that the decline in Google search results pointing searchers toward those 13 mostly lefty websites is mirrored by a decline in Google search results pointing searchers toward rightist websites.

    It is ridiculous on the face of it that Google, which we know from this week’s hoopla over The Memo is steeped in SJW-PC-virtue signaling, would be intentionally targeting prog websites to lower traffic to them. That accusation strikes me as borderline paranoid.

    Did WSWS obtain statistical data from SEMrush estimating any decline in traffic to sites other than those 13 socialist/prog/investigative research sites? I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that there has been a similar decline in Google search pointers to Breitbart, TDC, Drudge Report, Takimag, even Unz. But WSWS doesn’t say whether that might also be the case. WSWS is providing only half the picture.

    It might well be that Google, in cooperation with the EU’s strictures on badthink and US “mainstream” efforts against so-called “fake news” and “hate speech” has devised algorithms that suppress search results pointing toward sites featuring vehement opinions, counter perspectives, and finger-pointing. If this has impacted WSWS or Commondreams or Alternet, that would be highly ironic.

    More likely, I suspect this is a case of unintended consequences. But until we see statistical estimates for sites across the political spectrum, not just on those 13 sites that WSWS lists (which includes some, like Counterpunch and Consortiumnews, that Unz picks up on, BTW), we are not getting the big picture.

  30. The problem may not be Google. People may just not be clicking on the Google links. I certainly haven’t noticed any reduction in the number of references to such sites in Google. I suspect that the problem is much more credibility. I began visiting the US internet about 14 years ago and what struck me after a few months that all the sites, regardless of their professed ideology, advanced the same arguments, which were essentially right-wing arguments. The only difference was that, on the left-wing sites, the article was dressed up in left-wing jargon. For example, the right-wing sites denounced the EU as a hotbed of socialism whereas the left-wing sites denounced the EU as a hotbed of capitalism! The left-wing sites all catered to an old guard of American “leftisits”, born essentially in the 1920s and 30s, who simply wanted the “party line” communicated to them so that they could repeat it uncritically. That generation is now increasingly dying off. The openly cynical and manipulative style of such sites does not appeal to a younger, more media-critical, generation which is not willing simply to be told what to think. The left-wing sites haven’t moved with the times. They’re still preaching to people now dead. The often ranting style of articles, the penchant for finding “deep state” conspiracies in every closet (such as a Google conspiracy!), the fondness for the knee-jerk “America bad, not-America good” mantra and the tendency to claim that what is manifestly black is actually white, so to speak, have combined to make the left-wing sites sound silly and dated. It’s not really surprising therefore that sites like those listed above have suffered a loss of traffic via Google and I don’t think it has anything to do with “censorship”.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  31. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There is nothing magical in Google’s search algorithms. It’s just a matter of scale. Does anyone know how much a comparable system might cost? Perhaps some benevolent rich guy + crowdfunding will be enough to provide an unbiased alternative that is as wide and deep as Google?

  32. Che Guava says:

    You can be sure that the writers would support far stronger measures than a drop in Google redirection against any expression with which they disagree.

    Here, I am asking for their response to my precise characterisation of their type. Also estimating probabitiity of any response, still less a reasoned one, at zero.

  33. Media Matters is as pro-establishment as any site can be, so if it was “targeted”, it was done so to mask Google’s true intentions. They want you reading Media Matters.

  34. They’ve noticed that anti-war sites are anti-Israel, therefore “anti-Semitic”.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  35. @Ace

    @ ace-
    thank you, I (um, thanks, but I really don’t like to capitalize except when I want to, but you are doing all the ‘i’ s will-I nill-I… thanks for your fascist comment box, morlocks of unz…) am surprised that wasn’t the obvious first question: did they ONLY look at the stats on the lefty sites, OR, were righty sites similarly effected ? ? ?
    (I am guessing they only looked at lefties, and a look at righty alt-media sites would see similar drops in search engine returns… )
    in general, I don’t think Empire is much concerned with dem’rat/rethug, libtard/conservatard distinctions (although favoring conservatism in that it has more authoritarian flavors), but only that both the alt-right and alt-left are offering viable and more believable counter-narratives to Empire’s propaganda, and the little fucking mammals are winning against the dinosaurs…
    THAT can not be tolerated…
    all the gnashing of teeth, back-biting, infighting, and fractionalization of the various flocks of sheeple is great for Empire, but don’t dare even curl your lip at Empire, sheeple…

  36. Kiza says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Same here, DuckDuckGo is the search engine. I started using it occasionally about five years ago and as Julian Assange revealed who Google really is, I stopped using Google altogether. What would be the point of just replacing NYT with Google? They are the same.

    • Agree: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  37. utu says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    It does not work. When I was in 4th grade I had to write some poem 70 times because I failed to memorize it. Now many years later I do not even remember what the poem was about. Not a single line survived.

    And above it was a typo.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  38. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    The original Google search algorithm, which ranked pages according to the number of links from other pages and the page rank of the linking pages was fair and objective. But Gurgle, Farcebook, Twattter and all the rest are grabbing for the power to control the public mind as that power falls from the failing grasp of the Bezos Post, the Russia-hating Economist, and all the other wilting shoots and branches of the dying MSM. Hence the manipulation by the search companies of search algorithms to show you what the Treason Party want you to think, not what you want to know.

    That’s why Internet search is too important to leave to Internet search companies. And that is why Governments should require search engine companies providing service within their territory to provide the national library with unrestricted, unfiltered access to the search provider’s database. By thus creating a national data resource, governments would be making a demand on search companies analogous to the obligation they already place upon publishers to provide hard copies and digital copies of every book that they publish.

    Such a national data resource would allow the US Library of Congress and other national libraries to develop their own publicly accessible search facilities, based not on one, but on all search engine databases. Because maintaining and interrogating search engine databases consumes resources, the provision of database access to public libraries should be compensated at rates allowing a reasonable return on investment to the original database owners.

    In turn, national libraries should, in their capacity as libraries, provide access to commercial search engines that offer specialized search algorithms.

    By these means, the power of corporations such as Google to exert undue influence over public access to information would be broken, and the range of data available to the public and the means by which it is accessed would be greatly enhanced.

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    , @Wizard of Oz
  39. MBlanc46 says:
    @Michael Kenny

    How are “the EU is socialist” and “the Eu is capitalist” the same argument? I’d say that a strong case could be made that they’re opposite arguments (assertions).

  40. MBlanc46 says:

    I’ve used it and found it to be not as good. If I could find a decent alternative, I’d drop Google in a heartbeat.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  41. No one should be surprised that Google is helping out the Deep State. These stats are proof of course but it sure is suspicious. Most of the sites listed here should be getting more hits what with all of the anti-Trump internet chatter. And some of them aren’t even liberal – wikileaks is obviously no friend of Mrs. Clinton, and Robert Parry’s Consortium News is just a relentless thorn in the side of the Deep State, dating back to GHWB. The Obama Fan Club despises Parry for his criticism of BHO’s various crackdowns during his terms – NDAA being one example.

    Sorry to say, but while the “mainstream” media talks a left game wrt gender and race issues, they toe the MIC line on their stuff. To my recollection (my Alzhemeimer’s is barely noticeable), The WaPo and NYT never met a war/invasion/peacekeeping mission they didn’t like. Surely no one has forgotten Judith Miller’s participation in the Iraq train wreck. CNN was caught with pentagon employees disseminating propaganda. Think they’re the only ones?

    IOW, while I find this irritating, it is no more shocking than when I found out last fall that Hillary has “public position” and “private positions”, or that DJT had kinky sex with Russian call girls. For the foreseeable future it’s part of life in these United States.

  42. biz says:

    There has to be some irony in Trotskyists bemoaning a supposed censorship and lack of free flow of information. Once you set up that dictatorship of the prolitariat and reeducate enough people in the gulag then surely search engine results will be absolutely non-political, right? Sure.

    Also why did it take two authors to write this?

  43. CK says:
    @The Scalpel

    If you use IE 10 or 11,
    Go to Tools
    Manage Add ons
    When that window comes up select Search Providers
    Highlight Duck Duck Go.
    Right click select Set Default. Highlight again and select Move Up.
    Move it to the top of the list.
    Currently the least objectionable of the choices offered.

  44. CK says:
    @Che Guava

    When the idiots are not protected, the villains just keep shortening the definition of idiot.
    So today a bunch of NeoCons are idiots; tomorrow a bunch of Unzians become the definition and the day after that the Che Fruit and his friends get the treatment.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  45. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    People should know that “” is a CIA front, so “angryarab”. Don’t trust them.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  46. Today from the UK, “Emancipation Park” on Google gave me a park in Jamaica up front. All the Lynyrd Skynyrd fanclub stuff was below the fold and had a Do You Really Want to Get to This page as the next step. First time I’ve ever seen it. DuckDuckGo featured the L Skynyrd tribute immediately. Those dudes are so old! 10 years and they will be gone. Great band.

  47. KenH says:

    The results returned by DuckDuckGo are just like those that used to be returned using Google until they changed their algorithm to return sites and stories promoting the anti-racist and loony left point of view.

  48. swede55 says:

    The alt right very much cares about Google censorship because they are being targeted also.

  49. It is unfortunate that WSWS limited their exposure of censorship to its effect on leftist web sites. (But why haven’t the rightists officially noticed? Perhaps pro-capitalist ideology inhibits criticizing Google’s “business decisions”?)

    I think the crackdown was more or less as Google stated: against sites that propogate facts at variance with what the MSM reports. They justify it as a war against “fake news.”

    Even the Google News page has changed, if you haven’t noticed. The same story from the Washington Post stays at the top all day, whereas before you could get a smattering from a variety of sources.

  50. NZLex says:

    Thanks for a few more websites to add to my bookmarks! Anyone who still uses Goooooogle for anything other than research purposes is either a fool or quite likes the current “information ecosystem” anyway. I actually seem to have defaulted to Yandex (Russian stooge!), which at least doesn’t keep sending me to the big corporate “news” sites for the first page of results. Mostly, though, I really only use search engines for trivia, student stuff, or finding something I already have some idea about. I do remember the Gooooogle of the old days, though, and there is no question it has been fiddled with substantially – besides, they have to make a living, right? Whaddayou some kinda socialist?

  51. annamaria says:
    @Dan Hayes

    The article — by Andre Damon and David North, not by Ron Unz — has provided some hard data. Are you ready to refute the data?
    Here are more facts: “Clinton Emails Reveal Google’s Role In Attempting To Oust Syria’s Assad” (’s-role-attempting-oust-syrias-assad) – Do you have any contradicting material?
    Also, “Google sponsors the First Draft Coalition, which was created to counter alleged “fake news” and consists of mainstream news outlets, including the Times and The Washington Post, as well as establishment-approved Web sites, such as Bellingcat, which has a close association with the anti-Russia and pro-NATO Atlantic Council.
    Are you aware who Mr. Eliot Higgins of Belligcat fame is? Do you know that his Russophobic fantasies about Ukraine and Syria have been refuted again and again by real experts? Here is an expert characteristic of Higgins on the Sic Semper Tyrannis site: E. Higgins is “an uneducated, inexperienced guy with an opinion who happens to be married to someone of Turkish descent. The fact that this gentleman is treated as a credible source is further proof of the insanity that has taken over the public debate. He knows nothing other than what he has read. He has not been through live agent training at Fort McClellan (I have). He has no scientific background in the subject matter and no experience (other than playing video games) with actual chemical weapons (Ted Postol, who has written extensively on the subject, does have actual scientific and military expertise on the topic). Higgins knows nothing of the military doctrine for employing such weapons. He knows nothing of the process and procedures required for a military unit to safely handle, load, activate and deploy such weapons.”
    More about the Google-preferred face of Belligcat: “Eliot Higgins has no training in science, only women’s underwear sales. A background in science is absolutely critical if you want to comment on missile ballistics or WMD or satellite photography.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  52. 7.62mm says:
    @The Scalpel

    Ha! Digital Equipment Corporation.

  53. @utu

    Same typo on another thread. Now that’s clever. I hear what you say about repetition not drumming it in. My long term memory for exact words unsupported by logic fails after the first line, or even before as I discovered mid comment: see below.

    I spoke at the birthday party of someone I hàd known all my life and had acted with in school plays, my part always being small. I opened with just my first line “My lords, ladies and gentlemen! I am here to tell you without circumlocution….. but here I must stop: explanation will come later”.

    [ Something has made me pause and check. Actually the script of the play reads “Servants of God and watchers of the temple, I am hear to inform you, without circumlocution, the Archbishop is in England and is close outside the city”. ]

    When my old friend spoke he lived up to my description of one who remembered everyone else’s part better than they did by quoting a lot more of my small part but also getting a good laugh by saying that as I was heard to say “without circumlocution” the audience burst into applause. (His death was a great loss).

  54. Skeptikal says:

    How does Nanny Gomes know “what people are looking for”?
    Gomes apparently thinks he knows what pepole are looking for better than they do themselves—hence, the search.
    Because if someone types in “World Socialist” they get to the website immed.
    So, Gomes is playing God with people’s searches.
    Time to regulate Google.
    We really need a special regulatory agency for internet monopolies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  55. I wonder how the new algorithms have affected the hits to this site. (If UR is unaffected, the leading explanation of what Google is trying to accomplish would be wrong.)

  56. Skeptikal says:

    These sound like excellent ideas to me.
    Not to forget, the searches are actually the product. In a sense, the people who do the searches provide Google with a product to sell to advertisers. People who maintain websites and content that people end up searching for are actually “working” for Google, for free, because Google uses the pages as keys to advertisers. The content sells “eyes” to advertisers.
    If it is free, then “you” are the product.
    Now Facebook has hitched up with “credit rating companies” to fine-tune advertising even more. These companies, such as Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, are another example of companies that scoop up data without permission—one could really call it stealing—and use it to create a “product” that individuals who have provided the data unwillingly have to then buy back from the companies the companies say they have a secret proprietary formula for calculating an individual’s score, and the individual must pay to find out the score). In reality these companies should be paying citizens for their data. Even better would be a government agency tasked with “keeping” the credit scores.
    There is a good, long, readable article, by John Lanchester, about this basic concept of the user being in fact the product in the current London Review of Books. He oints out that Facebook is basically an advertisign agency. That is its primary business, not creating “connections” or “communities.” The article is not available to nonsubscribers, but here is the beginning, and the books reviewed:

    “You Are the Product
    John Lanchester

    The Attention Merchants: From the Daily Newspaper to Social Media, How Our Time and Attention Is Harvested and Sold by Tim Wu
    Atlantic, 416 pp, £20.00, January, ISBN 978 1 78239 482 2
    Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine by Antonio García Martínez
    Ebury, 528 pp, £8.99, June, ISBN 978 1 78503 455 8
    Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon have Cornered Culture and What It Means for All of Us by Jonathan Taplin
    Macmillan, 320 pp, £18.99, May, ISBN 978 1 5098 4769 3

    At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users. That number, the company’s preferred ‘metric’ when measuring its own size, means two billion different people used Facebook in the preceding month. It is hard to grasp just how extraordinary that is. Bear in mind that thefacebook – its original name – was launched exclusively for Harvard students in 2004. No human enterprise, no new technology or utility or service, has ever been adopted so widely so quickly. The speed of uptake far exceeds that of the internet itself, let alone ancient technologies such as television or cinema or radio.”

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Skeptikal
    , @skrik
  57. lavoisier says: • Website
    @Priss Factor

    It is becoming increasingly clear that far too many organizations controlled by Jewish individuals have zero respect for freedom of speech, conscience, or thought.

    What is the deal with this?

    Is this just a cultural thing?

    Whatever it is, it is despicable.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  58. lavoisier says: • Website
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Good advice.

    Starve the beast.

    And that includes facebook.

  59. @7.62mm

    Can’t open that link/file for reasons unknown….

  60. @Skeptikal

    Wouldn’t be the American way to create a tort that class action lawyers can batten on to? And make it the very American way by allowing jury trial and triple damages….

  61. @CanSpeccy

    Your first sentence summary description of older fair search methods interested me as a handy starting point but also prompted the thought that it was also just a starting point for website owners avid for traffic and therefore search engine references. They would immediatelý start trying to beat or maniulate the search engine and its algorithms wouldn’t they? Do you know how? And how Google et al. legitimately respond?

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  62. @anonymous

    That’s interesting. Evidence? Links? What do you think the CIA’s defined editorial mission is for the site. It obviously has to have had a lot of hard thinking about credibility behind it. But you have seen the chinks in its armour so please, do tell.

  63. I old enough to remember altaVista, they better stick to work for DS.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  64. Skeptikal says:

    So what?
    We should still be able to read what they say for ourselves and not have someone—like you?—decide that since “they are only about identity politics” we don’t need to bother about reading what they have to say. Actually, there are a lot of interesting writers and analysts at the World Socialist site.

    Just as there are some interesting things to be read at, say, Infowars or Prison Planet. That doesn’t require buy-in to everything Infowars. The erasure of conventional definitions of left and right are, I think, one of the factors driving many people’s “searches.” Not just internet searches but they are searchers for a new synthesis of ideas about political and economic life and the future.

    Your comment shows an acceptance of the Nanny Google idea, which actually comes down to prior restraint on the “individual” level—that is, people’s “reasons” for doing searches are being prejudged.
    Either it is assumed, they search out of general ignorance and they must be protected. Or they have malign intent and the rest of us must be protected from these other searchers’ acquiring ideas and information and “connections” that they should not acquire. Etc.

    Seems to me that this type of interference just drives more users to the Dark Web. It actually provides a motivation—let’s call it a selection pressure—for them and their users to improve their cyber-skills.

    • Replies: @biz
  65. utu says:

    two billion different people

    How much money do they really make? Is it all from advertising?

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    , @annamaria
  66. Skeptikal says:

    As of Sunday morning USA time this article by John Lanchester is free for viewing by nonsubscribers for 24 hours.
    The URL again:

    Or, do a search for “John Lanchester You Are the Product.”

  67. Kiza says:

    Are you aware what the best thing about any Google alternative is? That your search is not followed by a bombardment by ads after. I feel so free using DuckDuckGo even if the search is not as good (which I have not been able to establish). I did comparative searches several year ago and the return was about 98% the same, sometimes even a little better on DuckDuckGo.

  68. @7.62mm

    For some reason it opened through my alternative email service….. . Thanks. Haven’t had time to read its 37 psges yet so not sure thst it answers my questions. Have you read it all? Does it answer my questions?

  69. Che Guava says:

    That is a strange reply.

    My user-name is just a word-play. I find the real ‘Che’ Ernesto to be a ridiculous figure, playing golf with Castro in battle fatigues.

    Some mutual appreciation with other commenters at times, but I am sure not having a clique here, neither do the other commenters I like.

    I restate my point. WSWS types oppose free speech, so a whine about Google (which I never use for searching, mainly Yahoo! Japan for Japanese, Duck Duck Go for English) accidentally lowering their hit rate is high-level hypocrisy.

    It makes me laugh

  70. biz says:

    What a stupid comment your wrote. I was not advocating for censorship of any website. Everyone should be free to waste their time reading whatever they want.

    I was merely correcting the commenter utu’s assertion that these socialist/communist orgs might be free of identity politics.

  71. Skeptikal says:

    Read the article.
    It is free for nonsubscribers for 24 hours.

  72. Skeptikal says:

    “WSW and all of the other mentioned socialist/communist orgs are 100% in on identity politics and intersectionality anyway now. ”

    “100%” and the phrase “anyway now” imply that there is little reason to visit these sites because you will only encounter identity politics “anyhow.”

    So it doesn’t really matter if they are censored or not.

    I think that implication is clear from what you wrote.
    And I said “So what?” That is, so what if they are “100%” identity politics.
    Which I pointed out, I don’t think they are.

    Then you said:
    “What a stupid comment you wrote.”

    To me your comment sounds kind of stupid, and I’ll leave it at that.
    Because this exchange can only get stupider, fast.

    Don’t expect any further response from me.

    • Replies: @utu
  73. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Wizard of Oz

    They would immediatelý start trying to beat or maniulate the search engine and its algorithms wouldn’t they?

    An interesting subject but not my field at all. The original Google page ranking algorithm seems to have some obvious limitations. For example older pages will have accumulated more incoming links than new pages of equal interest, so I suppose one might add a weighting for age. But then there must be multiple category weightings, e.g., by source such as a scholarly journal, or a newspaper, thus identifying content for, say, Google Scholar or Bing News. But I’ve only thought about this for two minutes. The search companies have hundreds of smart people like James Damore thinking about this all the time. So yes, it must get complicated, and it must raise ethical issues.

    • Replies: @Skeptikal
  74. Anonymous [AKA "booneavenueboy"] says:

    I completely agree with those who recommend DuckDuckGo. Have been using DDG as the default search engine for about two years for privacy reasons (unlike Google it doesn’t track!) and haven’t looked back. I have simply excluded all Google connections from my web browser.

  75. utu says:

    Thanks for the article. I read it. No answer to my questions.

  76. Skeptikal says:

    He focuses more on Facebook’s business model.
    But I think Google’s is similar: the main money source is advertising.
    This info might be in a Google annual report.
    I read recently lthat Google/Alphabet is now worth \$445 billion.
    Whatever that means.

  77. Skeptikal says:

    I should think that even the way the search engine is programmed to “complete” words and phrases typed in would be a result of some kind of algorithm. To get to what one is really looking for one must generally make a point of not being distracted/led astray by the phrase completions, which often take one to specific commercial sites instead of more general information. For example, if you type in a shoe brand, the top hits are not the brand itself but sites that sell that brand, among others. Or in other cases Shop on Google with a line of photos and links to specific merchandisers is at the top.

    I expect that Google clients pay for this special “jumping the line.” Then they are likely to get more clicks, and this increases Google’s ad revenues again . . .

  78. @biz

    Can you cite to where the WSWS indulges in identity politics? They expressly reject it, going so far as to join the criticism of Black Lives Matter as being a less aspirational slogan than All Lives Matter.

  79. @lavoisier

    Despicable maybe but universal problem.

    Those without power invoke freedom of speech. Once they get it, they fear speech that challenges their power. So, commies used free speech to gain power but clamped down on free speech. Sam with Nazis.

    And in Turkey, they got their own PC. And same in Russia.

    It just sticks out more among Jews because they were so prominent in free speech movements for radicals in the 50s and 60s. So, for them to try to criminalize BDS, it really starkly stands out.

  80. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I am surprised because Google and 90% of mainstream US media are leftist.

    Maybe these progressive websites have been talking about how Jews influence US policy.

    That can get you into trouble – discussing Jewish influence is taboo.

    America, you see, must bow to Jewish influence.

  81. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Methinks you reply sometimes somewhat at random.

  82. skrik says:

    IF google aims at “fake news™©®” THEN they have gone over to the dark side.

    By installing an empire-biased ‘content veracity’ judgement they can not be ‘an honest broker.’

    People want to know what other people are writing, attempting their own judgement v-à-v things they read.

    Then, there’s SEO and Google bomb.

    From notes to You Are the Product:

    “When Google relaunched as Alphabet, ‘Don’t be evil’ was replaced as an official corporate code of conduct by ‘Do the right thing.’”

    Me: IMHO newspeak, pure.

  83. annamaria says:

    Dump both Google and FaceBook. This makes one feel liberated.

  84. A123 says:

    There was mass public interest in political topics in the run up to the election.

    Without an election one would expect fewer, though more passionate, searchers.

    A simple drop in # of hits could be driven by a drop in the number of searches.

    Question to the group, “Are there objective detailed measures that show »first search page results« changing over time as a % or ratio of total searches on a topic?”

    I have a subjective opinion that results have changed, but narrative is less than ideal proof.

  85. @Noah Way

    I just finished reading that. Thats very damning. Google has clearly been a tool of the “deep state” since its inception. Same with social media services that were infiltrated and co-opted by the nsa and cia. The Pentagon’s “highland forum” seems to be the “deep state” that is pulling the strings. Its members, guests, chairpersons and speakers need to be removed from our country if we ever want to break this cycle of war.

  86. Che Guava says:
    @Father Coughlin

    If you want to use the name of a historical figure directly, in your case, that of Fr. Coughlin, you are needing to make some similar words. At which you fail. I am not even a native english-speaking person, but if I was to posting with that u-name, I would making sure to reflect or twist the original.

    Tired now, but I know I could do it well.

    Especially as catechised, and baptised.

    You fail at that.

  87. Anonymous [AKA "Slugtrail"] says:

    Do the other search engines like Firefox or Opera provide us with any relief from this sort of thing or has the matrix gobbled them up to0?

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