Yesterday morning, Internet and social media reports surfaced indicating Google was not showing search results from conservative websites. I checked myself, and sure enough, a bunch of sites were not showing in the normal, listed results.
There was some mention of liberal websites not showing up in results as well, but I did not notice anything during my search of the most popular sites.
The conservative-leaning websites that were blocked from the normal list of results for at least three hours included, but were not limited to:
- Powerline Blog
- American Thinker
- The Federalist
- American Spectator
- The American Conservative
- Bongino Report
- Daily Caller
Interestingly, most of the above sites did show up in the “sidebar” of the Google results. This includes the information Google curates from other sources – usually Wikipedia – with a brief overview of the website. The sidebar result is related to the search terms, but does not show the links to the news articles themselves.
Google is calling it a glitch, but it does seem to indicate Google has some sort of “switch” they can use to de-list specific websites from showing in the normal search results. They should explain themselves as soon as possible. We do not think RVO was included in Google’s “glitch.” (We’re small potatoes.)
Should Google be treated as a publisher?
I think so. Last week it took me about three minutes to find one of my articles here on RVO was not showing in the Google results. I did a simple search for ‘google’ using our own search tool in the navigation menu and found 280 results. I selected the first result.
I wrote this article about 10 years ago, and it was certainly not favorable to Google, but it included well-sourced and valid information. The original source I used was from the Big Government website, which was at the time part of the Breitbart family. It’s no longer published, but I referenced other sources including the San Francisco Chronicle who referenced Google’s Marissa Mayer is hosting President Obama for a Democratic party fundraiser. The entry fee was $30,000 per head. At the time, Mayer was vice president of Google Search Products and User Experience.
For unknown reasons, the Chronicle (or are they known as SFGate?) deleted their post that I originally linked to, but SFGate has similar information posted here. Business Insider also has the news report concerning the fundraiser on their website.
Mayer continued to host high-dollar fundraisers for President Obama through at least 2014 when she was CEO of Yahoo.
So, does my article show in the Google results?
Nope. They have excluded this article from the search results. The simple way to do this is search for the headline of the article and use quotes.
You’ll note the two results shown (here and here) have articles dated from 2009 and 2013, both before and after my original articles publication date of Oct. 28, 2010. You’ll note the headline of my Google post is displayed in the description portion of the search results. Almost certainly, this is because at one time the articles had listed the Google article I wrote in the sidebar of the page showing a list of recent or related posts.
How about if we use the Google site: function?
Nope, the article still does not show up.
Did I request search engines ignore my article?
Setting a website, page or post to “noindex” is a way you can request search engines do not index your content. I use this tool frequently for some of my clients when we want to not have a page display in search results. This is not the case in any of the articles on the RVO website. You can confirm by looking at the source code of the original article.
How about other search engines?
What it comes down to is this: Google did not like my article and elected to remove it from their search results at some point. No notification or explanation, they just deleted it from their indexed results.
I have no idea if Google has removed other RVO articles from their search results. It’s really not something I’m willing to research further.