Google Actively Blacklists, Interferes To Control Search Outcomes – Contrary to their public claims

Google got everyone to use their search engine by giving the best results. Now that almost everyone uses Google, they secretly manipulate results, which they’ve been doing for years.

I’ve seen firsthand how Google used to link to all of my posts, which changed a few years ago, keeping people from finding some of my most important posts.

I mostly use DuckDuckGo, which also doesn’t track users.

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WSJ: Google Actively Blacklists, Interferes To Control Search Outcomes

Aha, readers will say, we were right! And we were right about Google’s interference in its search results, according to a blockbuster investigative report from the Wall Street Journal this morning. Contrary to their public claims, Google actively blacklists sites, interferes with its algorithms to cook search results, and boosts big ad buyers at the expense of smaller companies. Guilty as charged. …

Over time, Google has increasingly re-engineered and interfered with search results to a far greater degree than the company and its executives have acknowledged, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. …

More than 100 interviews and the Journal’s own testing of Google’s search results reveal:

• Google made algorithmic changes to its search results that favor big businesses over smaller ones, and in at least one case made changes on behalf of a major advertiser, eBay Inc., contrary to its public position that it never takes that type of action. The company also boosts some major websites, such as Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. …

Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results. These moves are separate from those that block sites as required by U.S. or foreign law, such as those featuring child abuse or with copyright infringement, and from changes designed to demote spam sites, which attempt to game the system to appear higher in results.

• In auto-complete, the feature that predicts search terms as the user types a query, Google’s engineers have created algorithms and blacklists to weed out more-incendiary suggestions for controversial subjects, such as abortion or immigration, in effect filtering out inflammatory results on high-profile topics.

Some of this has no excuse except for Google’s own commercial and political purposes. There’s no good reason for Google’s searches to favor its advertisers in results that are displayed outside of their labeled ads. Doing that without disclosures, and especially by corrupting the algorithms they claim are impervious to bias, exposes them as unreliable and undermines their credibility on other claims of beneficent oversight.

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