GOOGLE: “Big Brother Knows Best”

Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen

 

Bog_Brother_Knows_BestThe world’s most influential information-gateway — GOOGLE Search — has recently made the decision to abandon its long-standing primary corporate policies:  1) “Don’t Be Evil” and 2) Provide internet search results based upon neutral algorithms, not human judgment; unbiased and objective.

Some may object to the charge that they have abandoned their oft-repeated mantra “Don’t Be Evil” — but to be clear, this has always meant, as Eric Schmidt (Executive Director of Google at the time) stated in a Wired profile in 2003,  Evil,” he said, “is what Sergey says is evil” (referring to Sergey Brin, who co-founded  Google together with Larry Page).

As for the second point,

“As Stanford’s Terry Winograd, Page and Brin’s former professor and a consultant on Gmail, explains to Ken Auletta, “The idea that somebody at Google could know better than the consumer what’s good for the con­sumer is not forbidden.” He describes his former students’ attitude as “a form of arrogance: ‘We know better.’”        …..

“[Larry] Page and [Sergey] Brin designed Google to avoid human judgment in rating the relevance of web pages. Recounting Google’s original design, Steven Levy describes the founders’ opinion that “having a human being determine the ratings was out of the question,” not just because “it was inherently impractical,” but also because “humans were unreliable. Only algorithms — well drawn, efficiently executed, and based on sound data — could deliver unbiased results.”

— Alex White,  in “Google.gov

In Alex White’s long discussion of the links and affinity between the Obama administration and Google executives, he notes “The common theme [as expressed by Obama and Google execs] is that we [the general public] make wrong decisions not because the world is inherently complex but because most people are self-interested and dumb — except for the self-anointed enlighteners, that is.”  Like Obama, Google has appointed itself to be The Great Enlightener.

 In a conference at MIT earlier this year, Obama said that tech companies such as Google “are shaping our culture in powerful ways. And the most powerful way in which that culture is being shaped right now is the balkanization of our public conversation,” contributing to the nation’s fragmentation — “. . . essentially we now have entirely different realities that are being cre­ated, with not just different opinions but now different facts —different sources, different people who are considered authoritative. It’s — since we’re at M.I.T., to throw out a big word — it’s epistemological. It’s a baseline issue.”

Let’s dive into that statement just a bit to make a point.  President Obama said “…different facts —different sources, different people who are considered authoritative.”.    What he says here is correct — it is a matter of which facts, what sources and whose expert opinion.  There is not only one fact or one set of facts about any complex topic affecting society today.  [ I wrote about this in the essay What’s Wrong With Alternative Facts?]   Obama acknowledges that Google (and other technology companies) “are shaping our culture in powerful ways….” contributing to “the balkanization of our public conversation” and the nation’s fragmentation.   I will point out, needlessly, that is bad thing. 

Bal·kan·ize  [ Balkanized, Balkanization ]

To divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.

What exactly has Google done?

Google has decided, under the false flag of fighting “fake news” to “think of itself as a genuine public good in a manner calling upon it to give users not only the results they want but the results that Google thinks they need, the results that informed consumers and democratic citizens ought to have”.  “Google, that is, has long aspired not merely to provide people the information they ask for but to guide them toward informed choices about what informa­tion they’re seeking.  Put more simply, Google aims to give people not just the information they do want but the information Google thinks they should want. As we will see, the potential political ramifications of this aspiration are broad and profound.” [quotes in paragraphs above from Google.gov.]

I would add, there are also profound social and scientific ramifications as well.

According to The Guardian, Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering, Google Search, said in a blogpost in 2017: “We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content … “

What they have done appears to be a public good.  They’ve moved “authoritative sources” to the top search results.  The question we need to ask is:  “How does this play out in the Real World?”   In the real world it means that the worldview, the political bias, the social preferences, the positions taken in various ideological and scientific controversies — as decided by top Google Executives — have been virtually hard-coded into Google’s search algorithms.  No longer is Google returning “unbiased and objective results”.  Google search returns now, at the top of search results,  only what Google’s executives think you should be able to find, only what they want you to see, only what they think all “right-thinking” people (like themselves, of course) would want.  Google has created a reality in which search results reflect, exactly, the opinions and views held by top Google executives on important societal issues.  One side of each issue will dominate the first few pages of searches on these important issues.

Amanda Ripley of  Solutions Journalism Network, recently wrote “Once we get drawn in (to a polarized issue), the conflict takes control. Complexity collapses, and the us-versus-them narrative sucks the oxygen from the room. Over time, people grow increasingly certain of the obvious rightness of their views and increasingly baffled by what seems like unreasonable, malicious, extreme or crazy beliefs and actions of others,” …. “The lesson for journalists (or anyone) working amidst intractable conflict: complicate the narrative. First, complexity leads to a fuller, more accurate story. Secondly, it boosts the odds that your work will matter — particularly if it is about a polarizing issue. When people encounter complexity, they become more curious and less closed off to new information. They listen, in other words.”    Attempts to simplify complex issues by exposing the public to only one side of an issue leads to more, not less, conflict and Obama’s “balkanization of our public conversation”.

As far back as September last year, the New York Times was reporting on Google’s apparent tampering: “Accusations that Google has tampered with search results are not uncommon and date back to the earliest days of its search engine. But they are taking on new life amid concerns that technology behemoths are directly — or indirectly — censoring controversial subjects in their response to concerns over so-called fake news and the 2016 presidential election.”

How many issues?

We don’t know yet — but Climate Change results have been tampered with in a glaringly obvious manner — all web sites even slightly contrarian have been “de-ranked” and “demoted” apparently as “low-quality” (read instead — “containing Google-unacceptable points-of-view”) and are browser-pages down the list, if they appear at all.

Suspected tampering includes,  but is not limited to,:  Abortion, Gun Control, climate change/global warming, US Illegal immigration, Gender issues, feral cats (an tiny issue for which Google was dinged in the press), health and sugar…these were found with a very quick check. It will be a major undertaking requiring a massive  Citizen Science project  to determine just how many, and which,   controversial topics have been tampered with, topics into which Google has injected their own executive’s human judgement on which ideas, which opinions and which facts should be considered authoritative and which should be actively suppressed by “de-ranking” and “demoting”.  Once the extent of the damage is known, it will take a broad-based social movement to get Google to take its fingers off the scales and let the Internet decide for itself.

A recent New York Times article, titled “The Case Against Google”, quipped “Google has succeeded where Genghis Khan, communism and Esperanto all failed: It dominates the globe. Though estimates vary by region, the company now accounts for an estimated 87 percent of online searches worldwide.  …..  …When does a mega-company’s behavior become so brazen that it violates the law?”

Just this week, actually.  The New York Times carried the story “E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case”.  This case was not about tampering with Search Results — this case was about Google  “abusing its power in the mobile phone market”.

“Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” said Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust chief. “These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.”

  — New York Times

The European Union fined $ 5.1 billion (4.34 billion euros) in this case.  Last June, the EU fined Google “$2.7 billion for unfairly favoring some of its own services over those of rivals.”

“Google’s search engine has played a decisive role in determining what most of us read, use and purchase online,” said Shivaun Raff, a co-founder of Foundem, a British comparison-shopping site that was the first company to file a complaint against Google. “Left unchecked, there are few limits to this gatekeeper power.””

— New York Times

For a full version of Raff’s saga, see here.

Yes, Google dominates the Search engine field.  By how much?

Market_Share_2017

The charts above show that Google Search, worldwide,  has over 75% of the total search traffic market share and over 90% of the mobile search traffic share.  These figures are distorted — Google is banned in China, thus searches there by necessity shift to the Chinese-language-only Baidu.  For rest-of-world figures, add Baidu’s share to Google’s share for a clearer picture.

Note very well, please:   there is very little to be gained by comparing search results between the available search engines.  Where search engines are not owned outright by Google, many/most depend on ”Google Ranking” as part of their own search algorithms, thus Google’s “de-ranking” of a web site or a whole social viewpoint affects all of them.  Microsoft’s bing  has long been known to “sneak a peek” at Google rankings and include them  in its search algorithm.  Yahoo! has a deal to use Microsoft bing’s output in its search results (“Bing will continue to provide the underlying non-paid search results and technology for Yahoo.“)   So it reads like this:  Google tampers with its algorithm, bing peeks at the Google results and quasi-mirrors them, Yahoo! uses bing’s results. The remaining big English-language player is Ask.com, who’s market share is so small it doesn’t even make the chart.  They license someone else’s search results for general web searches, but don’t disclose who that is.

search_interconnections

Questions for discussion:

Is it important that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

 Is it socially significant that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

 Is it politically important that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?  

 Is it important to Science and Science Education that Google is tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

What are the implications for Freedom of Expression?  for Free Flow of Information?  for Democratic Values?  for the Ethos of the World Wide Web?

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Attribution:  The featured image is adapted in part from a book cover for the Orwell title “1984” designed by nusentinsaino.deviantart.com.

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Author’s Note:

This is a Commentary, meaning that it contains my personal opinions about a topic being raised in the press about Google’s behavior and changes it has made to its search algorithm over the last year or so.

I strongly suggest reading as many of the linked news articles as you have time for…I consider this to be a very important and significant issue for all users of the World Wide Web.

This is a follow-up to my recent piece: “NEWS FLASH: World’s Library Sabotaged”.  The next installment in this series will cover the specific effects and implications for the topic of Climate Science — and why it matters for WUWT.

I expect that many will disagree with my viewpoints expressed above — that’s good, it means I have hit on something that readers can engage with.

Let me end with a conclusion by Adam White (his piece linked above) “… the pressure for Google to adopt ever more expansive interpretations of “exploitative,” “authoritative,” and “what people are looking for” will doubtless rise.”  The pressure did rise and we are seeing the results above….Google as Arbiter of Truth, Google as Big Brother Knows Best.

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LINKS IN THIS ESSAY:  [added 22 July 5:28 pm ET]

https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/googlegov

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/19/news-flash-worlds-library-sabotaged/

https://searchengineland.com/yahoo-bing-renegotiate-search-deal-yahoo-gains-right-to-serve-search-ads-on-the-pc-219020

https://searchengineland.com/google-bing-is-cheating-copying-our-search-results-62914

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/magazine/the-case-against-google.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/eu-google-fine.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/technology/google-eu-android-fine.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/magazine/the-case-against-google.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/technology/google-cats-owls.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/technology/google-search-bias-claims.html

https://thewholestory.solutionsjournalism.org/complicating-the-narratives-b91ea06ddf63

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/25/google-launches-major-offensive-against-fake-news

https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/26/whats-wrong-with-alternative-facts/

https://www.wired.com/2003/01/google-10/

https://www.wired.com/

https://www.google.com/

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260 thoughts on “GOOGLE: “Big Brother Knows Best”

  1. It’s been apparent for some time that Google’s search engine has been degraded. Specific search phrases do not return the same content and breadth of search as it did a few years ago. The political slant of returns on subjects that should be apolitical has increased. My wife’s google searches have to do with history and genealogy, looking for specific sources, etc.

    Google’s politicization of returns had seriously degraded a great idea.

    • Bob ==> In the field of genealogy, there is a lot of commercialization — and the first return on the TOPIC search is an advertisement for Ancestry.com. The rest of the results are fairly good.

      Searching phrases will be less manipulated than subject and topic searches.

      If you have specific examples, I’d like to see them.

      Thanks.

      • Increasingly when I do a search on a technical issue, Google can’t or will not provide an answer to the question. In a recent instance, it provided a list of 20 to 30 results from ONE magazine that were irrelevant to the search question. (Use of a superconductor to smooth current surge in an off grid solar battery system, on a Google Pixel). Bing provided a series of relevant answers. The reverse has happened. I am moving to use 3 different search engines for technical questions.
        I think people should 1> stop worrying, and 2> get in the habit of using multiple search engines with (slightly) different algorithms.

    • It is time for shareholder lawsuits against the internet companies hurting shareholders this way.

    • n.n ==> What the EU anti-competition case was about deals with bundling of Google Search with the Android smart phone operating system — when you search on your Android phone — it is Google. Worldwide, Android OS has a >75% market share.

      • Kip – I was forced to open gmail account and I get dialogue boxes from them on turning on my GPS on my Android phone so I can be tracked(?). However, I downloaded DuckduckGo as a search engine and on principle never use Google search. To me, this is the answer, not just to attempt to get broader search results but to reduce Google’s share of internet searches, bullying in the market with oligopoly commercial control, etc. Unfortunately, 75% of the people don’t care! I have taken to using “phrasing” ( as you suggest) rather than simple topic searches to try to get wider choice.

        I have long noted the decline in usefulness of the internet. With the much overblown asbestos scares starting about the 1960s, it carries on through the internet. If you google asbestos, what you get is endless articles on it as a carcinogen, or class actions and legal ads. You might not notice that it is a naturally occuring mineral. The “six kinds of asbestos” was defined by the EPA! A few of the six are abundant minerals in the Precambrian Shields of the Globe. In Canada, natural rivers draining this terrain contain an order of magnitude more water borne fibres per unit volume than is permitted in manmade aquaducts. Indeed, asbestos cement fibres were used in cement pipe used for water ducts and is highly likely to be not harmful at all despite evidence of airborne hazards, but the literature is stuffed with highly speculative innuendo on the subject.

        Searching for WUWT, you often get a Wiki article first saying that its a site run by Watts for spreading anti-science climate propaganda on the internet. They even purloin the WUWT masthead and their dot com address without the https to bilk searchers. They gratuitously toss in “financed by fossil fuel interests”.

        The flamboyant fake news investigators are propagators of most of the fake news. The fact checkers are experts at obfuscation of their targets. I’m glad to see you are hopeful that it can be straightened out by citizen scientists. I’m less confident for now.

    • Dan ==> gibiru results for “climate change” returns 4 ads at the top, then virtually the exact same list as Google — all Consensus sites, regardless of traffic….

    • commieBob ==> I have written to DuckDuckGo and asked them exactly what/whose algorithm they use….no reply as yet.

      • “I have written to DuckDuckGo and asked them exactly what/whose algorithm they use….no reply as yet.”

        They use their own and “DuckDuckGo is a search engine that shows the same results for a search term to all its users.” Now that’s useful! My early objection to Google was search results were obviously tailored to suit Merkins. Google currently returns results based on the country I inhabit: Australia. A search result tailored to suit Merkins is far less useful to me. When I want to purchase something I’d rather it be local, especially when so many US suppliers refuse to sell to Australia. Find an interesting restaurant? Good luck getting me to dine out in New York! Need a taxi? Get the picture? Google does what the others can’t or won’t do.

        • Dear Pompous

          I also found that DuckDuck does not need a qualifier to give local results. NZ is a smaller market that even Aus. but I get relevant results for my searches that are local for local needs.

          • Richard, I was quoting from 12 Things DuckDuckGo Can Do That Google Can’t:
            https://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/features/12-things-duckduckgo-can-do-that-google-cant-596526
            None of them seemed relevant to my needs. I don’t do farcebook for example. I did try using duckduckgo, but the hits were nearly all to US sites and newspapers where Google generates mostly hits to Australian sites and newspapers. “Restaurants near me” are all in Melaka City, Malaysia for some unknown reason. My Region setting is Australia. Taxi gets me Adelaide Access Taxis, but they refuse to drive across the Bass Strait to Tasmania… Interesting, but no guernsey from me.

    • The linked reddit article contains a comment that says when you google american inventors, you get a bunch of African American inventors nobody has ever heard about.

      Google – Google displays text from the first hit at the top of the page. It’s a list of African American inventors who changed the world.

      DuckDuckGo – The first hit is american-inventor.com which has a list on its home page. As far as I can tell, none of the people on that list are African American.

      For obvious ideological bias the score is (1 is good, 0 is bad):
      Google – 0
      DuckDuckGo – 1

      NOTA BENE – I’m not saying there were no important African American inventors. There were. You could argue that one or two belong on the american-inventor home page. All I’m saying is that DuckDuckGo didn’t obviously tamper with the search result.

      • Lol, I think there is more to the issue than that. The first result I get when I search for “American Inventors” is a page talking about the google search results! Just by talking about it we’re changing what google shows when we search for a term.

        As would a few popular sites with miss tagged photos. It loops back around on itself.

        A bunch of people talking about how a search for American inventors shows more black people than they expected, and doing the same search themselves, and making pages about it, reinforces the association. Computers are very bad at any real understanding of context.

        • Did I just discover that Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein were all “African-Americans”? Talk about fake news…

          • Pompous Git

            Like most great inventors, Alexander Graham Bell was a Scot. His skin colour is less important as I believe we all evolved from the same stock. I also understand location influenced skin colour more than genes.

          • Yes, I know. I come from the midlands of the UK. When me dad went into the pit he was white; when he came out at the end of the shift he was as black as the ace of spades.

        • ” Just by talking about it we’re changing what google shows”
          As proof of that, I tried googling
          “American inventors” -reddit
          Now there is a quite different story, with nothing like he same array of faces. They come from the meta-story.

        • shows more black people than they expected

          Philip, watch any American or BBC show, commercial or movie and you’ll see that at least 50% of the population is black….

          • True. The Media distorts the racial numbers of the US population

            It’s politically correct, but is a distortion of reality.

    • We dont know who Ask.com licenses from but is there any indication that it is Google or a company that does license from Google?

      • Alan ==> As it stands today — any change Google makes to its ranking system propagates out into bing and Yahoo!, the second and third largest major searches (Baidu has a bigger market share than these two but is Chinese-language only).
        Ask.com and DDGo are still question marks.

        • Ask.com’s front page runs the googletagsmanager script.

          DuckDuckGo’s front page doesn’t run google scripts.

    • Hmmm… I’ve used and promoted duckduckgo for their privacy stance. However, a test on the terms “climate change” gave a biased list with the Wiki, NASA, and all the usual players ranked on the top page and WUWT nowhere to be seen.

      Did a search on “unbiased search engine” and got a pointer to https://www.mojeek.com/

      Where, doing a search on “climate change” gave, in addition to the Wiki in a special box:

      https://www.mojeek.com/search?q=climate+change

      Climate Change Reconsidered – Climate Change

      climatechangereconsidered.org/

      About Global Warming Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological … II: Physical Science Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim …

      See more results from climatechangereconsidered.org »
      Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/

      site on global warming and climate change Menu Skip to content Home … alleging damages relating to climate change. Judge John Keenan wrote in …

      See more results from wattsupwiththat.com »
      Environment and Global Climate Change | U.S. Agency

      https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/environment-and-global-climate-change

      Environment and Global Climate Change Gender Equality and Women s … Environment and Global Climate Change Global Climate Change …

      See more results from http://www.usaid.gov »
      What does past climate change tell us about global

      https://skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

      definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science … Translations About Donate Climate’s changed before It’s the sun It’s not …

      See more results from skepticalscience.com »

      With WUWT in the second from the top slot.

      I think I’ve just changed my preferred search engine…

    • Alan ==> Google is more likely to respond to Public Shaming than government intervention.

      • Any public shaming will only result in a temporary and partial backdown. They will be back to their old tricks as soon as they think they can get away with it. We need multi-billion $ fines and government supervision to ensure future compliance.

    • Google is part of the Deep State. Google is all in for the fight against freedom. Trump is taking the DS down. Why does G have a new CEO? You think it was his idea to resign?

    • Alan,
      Nonsense. American courts decided long ago that computer code and algorithms count as free speech. Google’s search ranking are thus protected by the first amendment. The only thing Trump should be doing is protecting google’s right to write whatever code it likes.

  2. Once again we see the feral chicago rat Barack Hussein Obama actively conspiring with Google and main stream media in the ‘balkanization’ and destruction of the USA. The daily news and net searches illustrates the Alynski-driven ‘progress’ that Socialist Progressives pursue.

  3. I’m going to have to disagree with the author here. Google decided years ago to “abandon its long-standing primary corporate policies.” Like most progressives/leftists they have only recently decided not to hide it anymore.

    • Like most progressives/leftists they have only recently decided not to hide it anymore.

      The indoctrination in the education system & infiltration into the media, academia, justice system and deep state has gone on long enough now that it’s no longer necessary to hide.

  4. “[Larry] Page and [Sergey] Brin designed Google to avoid human judgment in rating the relevance of web pages. Recounting Google’s original design, Steven Levy describes the founders’ opinion that “having a human being determine the ratings was out of the question,” not just because “it was inherently impractical,” but also because “humans were unreliable. Only algorithms — well drawn, efficiently executed, and based on sound data — could deliver unbiased results.”

    It just appears to me that the above contradicts everything I understood about how Google’s search engine was designed to work.

    The idea was to elevate any website’s search ranking by popularity, under the common assumption in today’s world that consensus presupposes valuable content. Regardless of whether one agrees with that premise, it’s undeniable that consensus must presuppose human judgment, in which case Page and Brin contradicted themselves at the outset.

    Kip, what am I missing here?

    • sy ==> “Consensus” views are political/social, not based on actual popularity in the internet.

      For instance, WUWT has an very low Alexa rating # (lower is better — based on traffic) yet has been de-ranked/demoted in rankings by Google even though WUWT 3 MILLION page views per month.

      By Internet standards, WUWT is the most popular viewpoint. But Google has marked it as “low-quality” pushing it to five or sixth page of results on climate change.

      They have entering “human judgement” in — the judgements of Google execs as to what is true, what is good for you to see…..

      • In a similar discussion some years ago, I pointed out that WUWT’s Page-rank was being degraded by the rather large number of links to external sites. There seem to be many more now than there were then.

        Google has always included subjective criteria, or at least they claimed they did in the early days. I also note that you haven’t responded to my remark that websites The Environmental Defense Fund, The Daily Intelligencer and TakePart you claim are unfairly elevated to page one do not occur in the first 20, 10 and 5 pages when I search on “climate change”.

          • I just changed my Google search preferences to show 50 results at a time. The Environmental Defense Fund, The Daily Intelligencer and TakePart don’t show in the first 100 hits.

      • Kip

        This comment is patently untrue as you very well know. I commented on my search for climate sceptic sites the other night and found WUWT 9th on the first page of Duck Duck Go and 16th on the second page of a Google search.

        The first site on the Duck Duck Go search was a sceptics site. The first site on the google search was skepticalscience, not unreasonable depending on the traffic, and domain name rating.

        As I said in that post, considering the mass of pro AGW consensus science, the biased media, and an apparently manipulated Google, I’m astonished that WUWT featured as high in the Google rankings as it does. Imagine if Anthony had a PR budget.

        I understand from sycomputing the Google algorithm is freely available to all webmasters (I was told otherwise) so what is to stop anyone interrogating that algorithm and adjusting all a websites parameters to favour it.

        sycomputing

        After a couple of emails and a phone conversation or two last night, I was told that the workshops on SEO, even those run by Google, reveal nothing of the algorithm. And for very good reasons.

        Firstly, it’s IP protected therefore it can’t be revealed even if it’s entirely benign, for commercial reasons. Secondly, Google’s entire business is predicated on the algorithm, why would they reveal it to all and sundry? Thirdly, it now represents a national, if not a global security issue. Every Tom Dick and Harry gets hold of the algorithm and alters it to their own requirements, as does everybody else. The internet would be utterly chaotic.

        • I understand from sycomputing the Google algorithm is freely available to all webmasters (I was told otherwise) so what is to stop anyone interrogating that algorithm and adjusting all a websites parameters to favour it.

          You misunderstood me or I wasn’t clear enough. What I said was they weren’t shy about telling webmasters how it worked, i.e., how to get their pages ranked higher.

          The math itself would naturally be a closely guarded secret.

          • Bah, it’s nothing…

            Say, how’s that moderation thing going for you today? I’ve got one post in response to Kip that I was really hoping to have him address…I think it’s because I placed a plethora of URL’s in it, but not sure.

            Are you all fixed up now?

            EDIT: Never mind!

          • sycomputing

            I had a reply from the MOD’s. It seems when I changed my browser, no previous comments were registered. Then they found nearly 750!!

            Can you imagine that? I bet about 5 made any type of sense.

            LOL.

      • Kip:

        “Consensus” views are political/social, not based on actual popularity in the internet.

        That proposition seems to contradict itself. E.g., a search for “Ford cars” brings up ford.com as #1 in my browser. Shouldn’t it be the case that a progressive website critical of cars, perhaps one linking cars to AGW, or a progressive website critical of large corporations should come up instead?

        For instance, WUWT has an very low Alexa rating # (lower is better — based on traffic) yet has been de-ranked/demoted in rankings by Google even though WUWT 3 MILLION page views per month.

        My search term “agw skepticism” (pardon me here, I’d just post the screenshot but I don’t know if I need to edit width/height first) produces the following results:

        1. My personal path to Catastrophic AGW skepticism | Watts Up With That?
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/25/my-personal-path-to-catastrophic-agw-skepticism/

        2. Why Climate Skeptics Are Wrong – Scientific American
        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-climate-skeptics-are-wrong/

        3. Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global …
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/#60d00b674c7c

        4. The 10 Most-Respected Global Warming Skeptics – Business Insider
        http://www.businessinsider.com/the-ten-most-important-climate-change-skeptics-2009-7

        5. My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies « Roy Spencer, PhD
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/my-global-warming-skepticism-for-dummies/

        6. Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really …
        https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

        7. 900+ peer reviewed papers are skeptical of AGW – Skeptical Science
        https://skepticalscience.com/skeptic-peer-reviewed-papers.htm

        8. Why I Am A Global Warming Skeptic | Climate Dispatch
        https://climatechangedispatch.com/why-im-a-gw-skeptic/

        9. Skeptic » Reading Room » How We Know Global Warming is Real
        https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/how-we-know-global-warming-is-real/

        10. Do you know any high-IQ climate change deniers/AGW skeptics? – Quora
        https://www.quora.com/Do-you-know-any-high-IQ-climate-change-deniers-AGW-skept

        The above (with WUWT as the #1 return) seems to at least acknowledge both sides does it not? Under your assumptions it shouldn’t, correct?

      • ‘…pushed to 5th or 6th page on climate change’ – Kip, I have NEVER EVER looked for anything important in such a nonspecific way.

        Wattsupwiththat dot com brings up this website at the top of the 1st page because that is how I type it into my search block.

        I said this yesterday and I will continue to say it if I have to hammer it into your CPU, the MORE specific you are, the MORE easily and quickly your search results will get what you want, regardless of Giggles’ ranking of it. It does not matter one bit HOW Giggles ranks it if you use the website’s name instead of a subject matter designation.

        If I want to find old TV shows like ‘Hennesy’ with Jackie Cooper, then I type in that phrase, NOT just old TV shows.

        Unfortunately for Giggles, their ideas of what you can/can’t find or are allowed to find have nothing to do with the reality that people can find what they want if they use a little brain power and common sense and are specific about their search terms.

        You can disagree with my viewpoint all you want to, but I do NOT have these issues that you bring up.

        If Bingo and Birdbrain tried to keep me out of this website, they’d have to have a good excuse for it, especially when they allow hardcore pornography to flourish. Their arrogance is already tripping them up.

        • My first introduction to WUWT came 10 years ago when I really did NOT know what I was looking for. When I asked Google to search “Global Warming” (one of the autocomplete suggestions was “Global Warming hoax”) it ranked near or even at the top based, I’m assuming, almost entirely on the number of page views it got. That’s not what would happen today. When people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, at the very beginning of their research, Google is telling them what they should be looking for, based entirely on the personal biases of the coder. And that’s a problem.

          • I just did the search in question, i.e., “global warming hoax” (not going to post the returned URL’s in order to avoid getting dumped into mod bin)

            #1: globalwarminghoax [DOT] com (skeptical)
            #2: snopes about Trump (nothing to do with the question at-hand)
            #3: nasa (sympathetic to AGW)
            #4: skepticalscience [DOT] com (sympathetic to AGW)
            #5: calthomas [DOT] com (a conservative commentator and skeptic)
            #6: wiki
            #7: baltimore sun on why global warming is a hoax
            #8: national geographic (sympathetic to AGW)
            #9: telegraph [DOT] co [DOT] uk – title: “Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation …”
            #10: forbes [DOT] com – title: “Global Warming Alarmists Caught Doctoring ’97-Percent Consensus …”
            #11: dailymail [DOT] uk [DOT] com – title: “World leaders duped by manipulated global warming data | Daily Mail …”

            I’m still not unhappy with these results.

          • “When people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, at the very beginning of their research, Google is telling them what they should be looking for, based entirely on the personal biases of the coder. And that’s a problem.”

            Maybe we have different Google coders then. My search on “global warming hoax” gave me Martin Durkin’s The Great Global Warming Swindle at the head of the search page.

      • “For instance, WUWT has an very low Alexa rating # (lower is better — based on traffic) yet has been de-ranked/demoted in rankings by Google even though WUWT 3 MILLION page views per month.”

        Kip, is there hard evidence that WUWT has been de-ranked? In other words, is there a written policy somewhere that says this?

        • Kip is being rather silent on justifying his assertions.

          First up, bear in mind that a website’s placement in a search result is a combination of Google’s patented PageRank technology and other techniques. To simplify things a bit, I concentrate initially on the PageRank part.

          Kip’s claim is that WWUWT’s placement (PageRank 7/10) has been deliberately lowered to favour in particular The Environmental Defense Fund (PageRank 6/10), The Daily Intelligencer (PageRank 5/10) and TakePart PageRank 7/10). You can check PageRanks here: https://www.checkpagerank.net/check-page-rank.php

          Placement depends on many things, some known some unknown. The methodology changes on a regular basis. One reason for this is that people who sell their services to assist website owners improve their ranking do their best to game the system. Google wants their search engine technology to attract the widest possible number of visitors to Google and advertisers (the source of their revenue).

          Things that are known to erode placement:

          * Blogging. Blogs gradually accumulate static pages. Pages that are continually updated improve PageRank.

          * Links to external websites. This is to combat pages that consist of links rather than novel material.

          Things that are known to improve placement:

          * Links from external websites that are considered “authoritative”. While this is not well-defined, I remember well in my early days of blogging nearly two decades ago that when the likes of Jerry Pournelle (RIP) linked to my website, its PageRank improved considerably. The effect of these links erode over time. The newer the link, the greater its impact.

          * Regular updates to the website.

          The most “authoritative” website is, surprise, surprise, Google itself. This whole system of transferred opinion has to start somewhere. There’s no doubt that Larry Page and Sergey Brin provided the initial opinions when they devised PageRank while they were still at StanfordU. From the very outset, Google depended heavily on subjective opinion, contra Kip’s claim that it’s a recent addition.

          It seems unlikely that Page and Brin continued to rely solely on their personal opinions when they continued to improve how Google works. More likely they hired a group of people who reflected the demographic of the USA to provide their opinions. Certainly in the early days, placement in search results reflected US opinion, rather than Australian opinion when conducting a search from Australia.

          This latter has changed. When I search now, if I use a VPN then the result depends on where the server is located. If I choose a server in the USA, “restaurants near me” are in Los Angeles where NordVPN has its US server. If I choose to use my ISP then I get hits for restaurants within walking distance, rather than requiring me to renew my passport and fly overseas.

          As I stated at the outset of this rant, there’s more to placement than PageRank. Browser history, for example, gives the Google engine information to more closely align search results with the searcher’s personal preferences. Both PageRank and the other techniques that Google uses to improve relevance in search results change regularly. It’s what keeps ~90% of web users coming back for more. While reflecting on this yesterday, I revisited some old search engines and discovered some new ones. The new ones succeed by being highly specialised and it’s nice to know they are there when I need them. Using DuckDuckGo to search on “global warming” led me to an Amazon page selling knives as the number one hit. Go figure…

          I do miss having the ability to search for old pages on my blog using Google. And WUWT for that matter.

          Kip is far from the first person to object to Google exercising their First Amendment rights. “PageRanks are opinions — opinions of the significance of particular Web sites as they correspond to a search query….the court concludes Google’s PageRanks are entitled to full constitutional protection.” See: https://www.out-law.com/page-3609

          • Interesting post. Many thanks.

            When I search now, if I use a VPN then the result depends on where the server is located. If I choose a server in the USA, “restaurants near me” are in Los Angeles where NordVPN has its US server. If I choose to use my ISP then I get hits for restaurants within walking distance, rather than requiring me to renew my passport and fly overseas.

            Would you agree that this and the utilization of browser history appears to “subjectify” Google search results to the individual user? I remember some years ago when it was announced that Google was intending to tailor results to individual users based on their browser/search history, there was a bit of an uproar, however, such a methodology serves Google very well if their intent is to service their own customers purchasing advertisements on their platform.

            Such a methodology would also seem to contradict Kip’s contention, in that for example if a certain user is politically conservative and therefore repeatedly searches for information related to conservatism, are we to believe that Google is deliberately going to attempt to thwart that user’s search results in the interest of their definition of “social justice”, or are they rather going to serve their conservative customers by offering ads from those customers tailored to that particular user who has already or might be interested in the same? I personally have to believe the latter.

            The new ones succeed by being highly specialised and it’s nice to know they are there when I need them.

            Would you mind sharing?

            Using DuckDuckGo to search on “global warming” led me to an Amazon page selling knives as the number one hit. Go figure…

            Well the apocalypse and what-not…

          • Would you agree that this and the utilization of browser history appears to “subjectify” Google search results to the individual user?It must pretty much by definition. The only truly “objective” way to serve up results is to randomise them. The tendency is for individuals of a certain type who believe their POV is objective while everyone else’s is subjective.
            such a methodology serves Google very well if their intent is to service their own customers purchasing advertisements on their platform. Indeed, this is how the service is paid for. It’s called monetisation. Don’t want to be monetised by Google? Go use another service where you will still be monetised, but not necessarily in the same way. If monetisation doesn’t occur, then there’s nothing with which to pay the bills, the salaries, equipment and so on.
            are they rather going to serve their conservative customers by offering ads from those customers tailored to that particular user who has already or might be interested in the same?
            That’s certainly what Google wants the advertisers to believe. It would seem oddly perverse of them to do the opposite. Targeted advertising is still a bit naff, but I suspect it’s going to rapidly become more effective.
            Would you mind sharing?
            Not at all. Say goodbye to Google: 14 alternative search engines:
            https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/25/say-goodbye-to-google-14-alternative-search-engines/
            The ones I found interesting because it was the first time I’d come across them are near the bottom.

            I have a sufficiency of knives including Wüsthof, Dick and Icel. After more than 50 years of enthusiastic home cooking it would be surprising if I didn’t.
            לחיים (lkheym)

          • Now, how in the world did you know I’m to begin introductory Hebrew next week?

            Is that you, Dr. Cathey? The handle certainly fits you sometimes!

            🙂

            Many thanks for your time and the link!

          • Serendipity I’m afraid. I’m not Dr Cathey, nor do I possess ESP. I don’t even speak or understand Hebrew. My father was Ashkenazim , but not my mother so I’m not technically a Jew even. I do however inherit several genetic disorders from dad that I really would rather not have. OTOH I inherit an extra dollop of IQ so it’s not all bad.

          • You’re welcome Tom. I find that writing an explanation has the salutary effect of clarifying my thoughts.

      • Pompous Git

        Hmmmm……As a crumb of confirmation, I wrote a Wikipedia page on my late father, a minor celebrity in the Far East in the 1960’s.

        I included a number of photographs of his exploits in motor racing, all of which I own as part of my inheritance.

        Whilst the text remains unaltered, all the photographs were taken down and I was informed it was because I couldn’t provide proof of ownership.

        I wrote to Wikipedia, as best I could considering their protracted and confusing contact process, and several years later am still waiting for a reply. Nor am I able to upload photographs to replace those taken down.

        • HotScot, I wasn’t querying whether Wikipedia is controlled by scumbags. Just the claim that Google was preventing discovery of their nefarious activities.

  5. HFS! This is the Foundation and skeleton for building the “MATRIX”. They aren’t advancing artificial intelligence, they’re constructing artificial reality.

  6. DuckDuckGo is better for climate results than Google. I use DDG as my default. It is not as good as Google for some things, but you can always prefix a search with “!g” to get the Google result if the DDG isn’t sufficient. 90% of the time, DDG is fine though. The main thing I miss is the Google maps integration.

  7. The quote below has been attributed to a British novelist and scriptwriter Donald James Wheal who apparently went by several pseudonyms including Dresden James, Donald James and Thomas Dresden….

    “A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

    Somehow, I think of the corporate biases built into Google’s search engine whenever I read the quote above. In my view, the smartest people are the ones that question society’s commonly held beliefs.

    • CD ==> We see this “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” in today’s conflict over climate change.

      Read Amanda Ripley’s piece (linked in the essay).

    • CD in Wisconsin

      “corporate biases built into Google’s search engine”

      It’s a corporate entity with one objective, to make money for its shareholders. It’s not a social enterprise.

      I’m pretty certain it’s shareholders are Capitalists, through and through. Capitalist investors are inherently wary of getting involved with political movements, they inevitably fail. To suggest Google is somehow a nest of socialist conspiracy theorists is becoming less credible to me with each article Kip posts.

      • This would not be the first CEO, or even Board of Directors, that acted out of personal bias despite adverse effects to stockholders, since after all they’re so all-fired convinced that their views and only their views are the best for all humanity and thus their shareholders as a subset of humanity. Witness GE as just one example.

        • Red94ViperRT10

          Oh please, give it a rest.

          the majority of companies on the planet are run legally and ethically. Why would Google be any different?

          • I hate to say it, but the majority of the companies on the planet are run by homo sapiens with exactly as many ethical view points as there are companies. Some companies have smart, intelligent leaders, others not so much, particularly when they have someone running interference when they do something immoral (in an ethical sense). This tends to occur where there is big government, but I’m sure that’s only coincidence. Consider plastic in the waterways, melamine derivatives in milk products, diesel fuel in cooking oil, pipelines deliberately sabotaged (producing 200 million gallon spills look up Belarus oil spill), and more for a clear sense of the problem.

            Most people don’t try to cheat others, nor do they try to steal normally, but there’s a reason people used to ask how much the butcher’s thumb cost per pound. There’s also a good reason for caveat emptor.

          • I hate to say it, but the majority of the companies on the planet are run by homo sapiens with exactly as many ethical view points as there are companies.

            You sure about that Briggs? I suspect there are somewhat more ethical viewpoints than companies given that some have one for internal use only and another for external use. YMMV of course. How ya keepin?

          • Cmdr. Briggs ==> And given the assumptions in the Google.gov article by Adam White, and the recent EU fines, what would you say the probability is of Google acted to squash competition in the Search business?

    • ???

      Everyone knew the world was round. Washington (a raving lunatic?) Irving’s 1830 biography of Christopher Columbus is the source of the notion that people thought the earth was flat. Columbus’ Great Belief, erroneous as it was, was that the earth was considerably smaller than believed. The size of the earth had been fairly accurately known for many centuries. When Columbus found the West Indies, he thought his theory of a smaller earth was vindicated.

      • Columbus had a Venetian map , a fake map which showed Cipango where Mexico was found. So Venetian fake news (Marco Polo’s diaries) . Venetians were sure Columbus would die and the mission would be lost at sea. Just imagine their horror at the actual result – Columbus derangement syndrome! To this day he has not been forgiven for changing all of history.

        The reference to “flat” is to Eratosthenes . Most refused to listen, but the Pharaoh did and launched the circumnavigation mission led by Maui and Rata, as the calculated diameter was quite accurate.

  8. 2nd google search result for “Kip Hansen” – “Kip Hansen’s badge of dishonour | HotWhopper”.

    I’ll take that as proof of thesis.

    • peyelut ==> Good point — HotWhopper, a “climate consensus” scandal and ad-hom site — with almost no traffic — gets a #2 on my name, rather than my essays at WUWT and judithcurry.com, which have much higher popularity ratings according to Alexa.

      I rather liked the HotWhopper piece on me (they did TWO) — re-assured me that i was making a difference and boosted my ego. I thanked Miriam for it.

      • 8- )
        A few of years ago I did a search for one of my past comments. The 2nd or 3rd page had a link to “HotWopper”. I’d never heard of HotWimper before. I clicked on it.
        That post said a comment I’d made (not the one I was looking for) was her top example, in that post, of stupid comments made on WUWT.
        But she then went on to berate what other commenters said. She concluded by saying maybe I wasn’t so stupid after all. 8- (

  9. I’d say it’s the Western World’s most influential gateway. It can’t be accessed in China under normal circumstances, for example.

    • R. Shearer ==> Correct — and point made in the essay. Without some fancy footwork, Chinese citizens in China can not access Google….despite being censored in China, Google is still the world’s most influential gateway to the internet.

      • Sorry, I skipped right over that. In any case, I learned that by personal experience.

        All searches there are incredibly slow and filtered and a real impediment to efficiency, but at the same time a relative advantage to open societies.

      • So which one’s the alternate reality?

        I don’t want to end up in the ‘wrong’ wonderland.

  10. I’m not as concerned as some about the way Google chooses to devalue its brand.

    Their real success came from eliminating spam, or, more correctly, reducing it to acceptable levels. Sure, they can downgrade individual sites they don’t like. But it’s hard work to get them all, or even some of them. They would really, really prefer not to exercise their political biases that way because their power is not as great as many would like to think. And they know it. Plus, there isn’t even any one at Google who fully understands how their whole algorithm works.

    In short, they have implemented algorithms to downrate pages which are excessively repetitive and copying text from elsewhere, in the many forms that can take. They know that is the basis of their success. Tinker with that algorithm at your peril.

    Guess what? I’ll bet Swiss Francs for Venezuelan bananas that global warmers are more likely to fall into the spam category than climate sceptics. It is one of those self-evident truths. As one of the climate infidels, Google still serves me up pages from other climate infidels.
    The number of adult naifs who go to Google asking about global warming, but not already having an opinion about what they might want to receive, is vanishingly close to zero. This is why so many activists focus on the very young.

    • michael ==> Your point is about one of the positive changes Google has made in the last few years — but is not about what this recent change is about.

      You seem to be stuck on a climate-centric wavelength.

      Climate and climate change are not really very important issues — but Google has messed with the topic ratings of many societal/political issues — read the questions at the end of the essay and answer them for yourself.

      • I think the points I made are equally valid for non climate-related matters.
        Google’s intentions are seemingly not good. But, like Sauron and Voldemort, much of their power actually comes from people fearing they are more powerful than they really are.

        • It does make you wonder why they needed a reminder not to be evil though.

          Does anyone else have to struggle with that, or need a constant reminder to not let their inner psycho prevail?

  11. Much ado about nothing.

    If you really want an unbiased text search machine then migrate from

    Microsoft operating system

    to unix

    and build your own Google, based on

    https://www.google.at/search?client=ms-android-samsung&ei=z2ZTW5vPO8KPmgWS0Kb4Cg&q=unix+awk+script+processing+&oq=unix+awk+script+processing+&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.
    _____________________________________________________

    The difference:

    in unix awk script processing it’s maybe hours to build the appropriate search algorithm.

    in Google it’s seconds to get the asked for results.

  12. Its the explanation of why, in the US but not in other countries, views about scientific issues can be predicted from political outlook. So for instance on climate, Republicans generally are skeptics and Democrats alarmists. Republicans oppose Paris, Democrats are in favor.

    The debate in the US, but not elsewhere, has consisted of ‘progressives’asserting policy recommendations, citing scientific evidence in favor, and then accusing their policy opponents of being anti science. The opponents then predictably move the debate onto what exactly the science is, then people who take differing views of the scientific issues are called ‘deniers’ and so on.

    In the end we have neither intelligent debates about what the science is, how certain it is, what needs to be done to clarify it, what the objections are to various theories, how settled it is…. Nor do we have intelligent debates about what policies to follow.

    Of the two, probably the most serious damage is being done to scientific inquiry, which has increasingly turned into the effort to find bad reasons for views that one adopts out of political stance. We see it for instance in the question of hereditary abilities and characteristics: the right being persuaded of heredity, the left that its all nurture. In gender, we see it in the view that its scientifically correct to think that gender is fluid and that men can be turned into women through surgery and hormones, and that gender typical behavior is entirely cultural in origin. These are all topics that cannot be discussed any more in a detached scientific way, because we have essentially come to believe that some views of the facts are evil, it is wicked to think that the world may be a certain way.

    I don’t know how to get out of this, and back to science as inquiry. A first step though might be to recognise that this is a peculiarly American malaise. In Europe and the rest of the world, you cannot predict a man’s views of climate science if you know what party he votes for. This is an American problem, a very serious one, and will have to find an American solution.

    Adam White’s piece is very insightful on all this.

    • ” In Europe and the rest of the world, you cannot predict a man’s views of climate science if you know what party he votes for. ”

      As a matter of fact you can, at least in Europe. It might not look that way, but that is only because “the Swamp” has very nearly complete control of the MSM. In Sweden for example if you question e. g. the official views on climate or immigration you are very likely to lose your job and have a fair chance of being indicted for hate speech (“hets mot folkgrupp”). And remember – in Sweden it is the political parties that appoint jury members.

    • michel ==> You’d like Amanda Ripley’s piece — which is meant for journalists.Linked in the essay.

  13. The “fake news” meme is itself fake news, because the problem is seldom erroneous facts, rather it is the deployment of those subsets of the facts that confirm a pre-ordained or desired conclusion, ignoring or casting doubt on the other subset of facts.

    • climanrecon ==> Mostly right. There is, of course, Real Fake news — news made up whole cloth.

      The there is CNN-style fake news — news built around something intentionally misunderstood, then misrepresented.

      Then there ids, as you point out, one side of a polarized issue calling the other side of the same issue “fake news”.

      Google has begun labeling sites that have “Google-disapproved viewpoints” fake news and re-ranking them to bury them.

      You might like Amanda Ripley’s piece linked in the essay or my piece at judithcurry.com, also linked in the essay.

      • Ah, sound like a hands-on application of the practice of Rhetoric, which as we know, does not involve Logic.

    • No, there are in fact people who just make stuff up, and it is actual fake-news.

      What you are talking about there is ‘biasing’, which is totally different.

    • howard-
      I found it depends on the exact search term you use. (by the way I always use google advanced search) When I searched for “porto conference” I got lots of entries. When I searched for “porto climate conference” I got nothing.

      • Searching on “September Porto Climate Conference”, the WUWT page came in at numero uno. “Porto Climate Conference” however came seventh. Maybe we just found a way to overcome Google’s disdain for WUWT!

        • ” Maybe we just found a way to overcome Google’s disdain for WUWT!”
          If you use quotes (often a good idea), “Porto Climate Conference” get WUWT at #1. In fact it is about the only response. Otherwise you get the problem that Google gives preference to a major July conference in Porto, featuring Pres Obama as keynote speaker, over the September one, featuring Lord Monckton. Exactly as it should.

          • Obama as keynote speaker, over the September one, featuring Lord Monckton. Exactly as it should.

            Why? Obama doesn’t hold a candle to Monckton in regard to intelligence. Obama’s major skill is smooth-talk (as long as he has his prompter), but even w/that he falls short of Monckton.

          • I share your opinion. Surprised several of my friends when asked: “Who would you most like to invite to dinner?” and I answered: “Chris Monckton.” The relative intelligence of Obama versus Monckton is completely irrelevant to a Google search that depends on the collective opinion of the hoi poloi with modification from the searcher’s browser history and other factors.

          • Yep. Regardless of my opinion of Obama or Monckton, you have got straight to the heart of the issue.

          • you have got straight to the heart of the issue.

            Thanks. I try to. It helps to simplify things, but not to the detriment of understanding. While Kip portrays this as a poor, oppressed couple of workers versus the Giant Google, and I’m sure this part of the story is reasonably accurate, it leaves too much out. The elephant in the room is Microsoft. MS’s Bing is far less successful than Google and MS have decided it’s easier to fight Google through government intervention than by writing better code. I wonder what gave them that idea.

            Having failed with the FTC, where better than the EU Commission where the bar is set much lower? I don’t have any skin in this game. I use Google for the simple reason it works well for me; much better than Bing. I use Windows 7 (much to the chagrin of MS who want me to use Win10) because it works well for me. Long may both prosper…

  14. I did a goggle search for “best websites about climate change” and found almost no mention of the most viewed site, i.e. Watts Up With That. Even lists of 100 websites about climate change failed to mention WUWT. The only mention I could find in the first page of results was on the Quora website. In the first answer to the question, “What are some of the best websites about climate change in the World Wide Web?”, Jean Vidler puts the following blogs at the bottom of her list:

    judithcurry.com < a "lukewarmist" who agress AGW is happening but is sceptical about how bad it will be. One of the best informed sceptic.

    wattsupwiththat.com < the most popular denier blog.

  15. It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.

    The problem is the same as if all the Main Stream Media (MSM) were owned by one person. It would be very bad for democracy.

    … the media have become a significant anti-democratic force in the US (and beyond) by stifling civic and political involvement, and that ‘[t]he wealthier and more powerful the corporate media giants have become, the poorer the prospects for participatory democracy’. As well as more generalised charges of commodification and corporatisation of public media spaces, American critical schlars have over the years produced a number of stories about some of the consequences of oligopoly and centralisation, such as a Clear Channel local radio station missing a major nuclear dumping story because its journalism had been delocalised … link

    Even if I’ve never watched Fox News, I still say thank God for Fox news.

    (trigger warning) Noam Chomsky thoroughly documented the fact that, for the first part of the Viet Nam war anyway, the MSM effectively spouted the government line without any coercion or censorship. link* After all, the freedom of the press belongs to the guy who owns the press.

    *I’m almost alone in my interpretation of that book. He pointed out that the average American had little chance to know what was really happening in Viet Nam at least in the beginning.

    • commieBob ==> Thanks for the link to the London School of economics paper.
      As for Viet Nam — I was a university-based radio journalist 1967-1969…….we didn’t spout the government line… 🙂

    • commieBob:

      “It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.”
      ______________________________________________________

      Yes:

      no competition no verification:

      keine Konkurrenz keine Überprüfung.

    • “It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.”
      Presumably no-one uses them because they like Google best. How do you propose to disrupt that, and why?

      • Darn good question.

        Before Fox News we had an acknowledged left wing bias in the news media. Fox News restored some balance that had been missing for a long time. I would say that’s a good thing for democracy. link

        Suppose that Google could control all the information that everyone gets. It sounds like Pravda and Izvestia. It would be the Soviet wet dream.

        Suppose that could happen. It would be a good idea to control it, would it not? The trouble is that, when we try to control something like that, we usually discover the law of unintended consequences … again.

        The civil courts are unable to control defamation and unbalanced coverage by news media, so that’s out.

        Maybe something like common carrier legislation could be crafted such that dissenting views could have a chance. That sounds unwieldy.

        How about … no tax deductions for google ads? You could still buy a google ad but it wouldn’t count as an expense. That would encourage businesses to advertise in local media. That would hit Google where it hurts them most. That might encourage diversity.

        The real answer to your question is: I have no idea.

    • “Noam Chomsky thoroughly documented the fact that, for the first part of the Viet Nam war anyway, the MSM effectively spouted the government line without any coercion or censorship.”

      He must have been talking about the time before the middle 1960’s because the MSM was definitely anti-war biased in the later years.

      I believe the Vietnam war is what polarized the Media and caused them to start blatantly taking political sides. They have continued their partisan political bias to this very day.

  16. Well there’s always baidu.com and yandex.com.

    Both are now noticeably better than google, at least on climate-related searches. Yandex has always had better coverage of Russia and Eastern Europe.

    • You too can collude with China and Russia!

      Sorry state of affairs when a Russian oligarch is more committed to free speech than American oligarchs.

      • The American oligarchs controlling media and commerce are much more troublng than the Russian oligarchs…

  17. I like it when things suck — at least to some people — that’s when I can do the best research in the shortest time. The greatest challenge these days are the too-obvious results like corporate name matches, and especially, returning clickbait pages that rank highly if your topic is not too popular. The Internet has become weighed down with pages without conversations in them. And yet one of the best ways to learn about something is to listen to people discussing it.

    My suck trick is to add ‘sucks’ … both as two unquoted words, then in a quoted phrase. Ex,

    tesla – the bare word tesla brings up the who’s who of official sources, positive reviews (because they’re more often linked to) and variations, page after page. Interesting reading maybe but you’ll be led down the garden path because 🙂 this IS the garden path.

    tesla sucks – the two bare words. Still on the garden path, though we’ve taken another branch into corporately sponsored mega-unpopularity. But it’s still dominated by major media players. You wouldn’t catch many reporters actually saying anything as crude as “Tesla sucks”. That’s an advantage…

    … because it allows us to search “tesla sucks” – the “quoted phrase” uncloaks pages where everyday humans are speaking. As opposed to fancy frilly kind. We have left the garden path and it’s not all negative, in fact, strongly expressed negative sentiment brings defenders out of the woodwork with their best arguments, and these people often have more interesting and accurate things to say than any defensive press release.

    Limit your “X sucks” phrase to a website where people routinely gather an argue and you hit solid gold. “tesla sucks” on Reddit gives an amazing variety of topic. And if you know Reddit, for negative sentiment you can expect the staunchest defenders.

    You can also catch a glimpse of Google’s bizarre and somewhat disturbing index purging. Oddly, “tesla sucks” at slashdot.org brings up only TWO result for me, from June+July 2018. For a site that has hosted hundreds if not thousands of Tesla topics… Is Google sending Slashdot down into the memory hole?

    Google’s great, but it also sucks.

  18. In my professional opinion gaggle is worse than Hitler and Stalin and Satan combined. The earth has never experienced an evil so pervasive

  19. This is really a discussion about the hypothesis that Google is a neutral player.
    A filter can be a valid addition to any system to reduce dross.
    However, did the silicon valley players contribute funds evenly to each political grouping if not then they are disqualified and I think that is what happened.

    I do remember Obama very early on in a speech stating that if you earn a million dollars per year and if he is president you will pay more tax.
    So what actually happened he received very substantial support from the valley and they literally were able to continue paying in round terms zero tax. Where I live this is a kick back and earns jail.
    They are not politically neutral and they should not be the “values keepers” of the world.
    How does anyone fix this, that is a very big problem.

    • Bill T ==> You’ve got this “they should not be the “values keepers” of the world.” exactly right.

  20. Set your “home page” as “Start Page” at Cnet and you won’t have these problems….Ad Block Plus helps too..Unless you have Win !0 (then your screwed !)

  21. I’ve said this elsewhere: a lot of this seeming control of search results has to do with the laziness of the people who are doing the searches themselves. I do very little random net searching, because I know exactly what I want to find.

    If I find that a book I’m interested in buying has a cheaper price by a direct order to the publisher, where do you think would I go? I’m certainly not being blocked from finding what I want to find. I have never been bounced out of a site that was low-rated on Giggle’s rankings.

    If anyone can prove incontrovertibly that Giggles is blocking access to certain areas of information, then what are you going to do besides complain?

    If the EU is fining (twice now) Giggles a truckload of money for using algorithms that provide only what The They think web surfers should find, then why is there such a wealth of pornography of ALL kinds available on Giggles instead of more wholesome stuff??? I think they should be sued just for providing a venue to porn producers and traffickers for that evil crap.

    Just glad right now that I have only a modest need for the net’s usefulness, and a nice, fat library of real books in a spare bedroom, not the tripe that passes for information on the internet.

    Hubris as inflated as the cloud that Giggles’ operates in has a load-bearing limit, at which point, it will likely implode when someone is unable to find the bank where her accounts are held because Giggles decided it’s not a necessity and should be somewhere at the bottom of the search list ranks. The inflated egos of the people who run Giggles have a load limit, too, you know.

    • I’ve said this elsewhere: a lot of this seeming control of search results has to do with the laziness of the people who are doing the searches themselves.

      Sara,
      Laziness or ignorance? “Ignorance” is just a lack of knowledge. Not everyone knows how to fine tune a search. They’re not “lazy”, they just don’t know.

      “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” Will Rogers

      For them, Google is happy to steer them, rather than just show them, what they wanted to find.

      • “Not everyone knows how to fine tune a search. They’re not “lazy”, they just don’t know… Google is happy to steer them, rather than just show them, what they wanted to find.”

        How To Google Like A Pro! Top 10 Google Search Tips & Tricks …
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0DQfwc72PM

        Wot came up for me when searching on “how to search on google”. Note especially Tip 10.

    • “why is there such a wealth of pornography of ALL kinds available on Giggles instead of more wholesome stuff???”

      Turn on Safe Settings in your search preferences.

      • Sara et al. ==> “Pornography” is NOT available on Google Search. Google search does not do content, it does links — it is a searchable index (more or less….) Can one search for pornography on Google? I don’t know, never tried but I suppose it is possible — the content is not Google’s in any case.

  22. Kip,
    ” but Climate Change results have been tampered with in a glaringly obvious manner”
    You say this over and over, but never give an actual worked demonstration. Let’s see it! I gave my own example here, responding to something that was claimed to show tampering.

    But it comes back to the old – one man’s tampering a is another’s guidance. Search is all about organising output in a way that users want. And people like what Google produces. That is why Google is at the top. Your complaints just sound like Yogi Berra – no-one eats there because it is too crowded. The fact is that if you don’t like the way Google orders things, you just have to find another engine that does. And if you can’t find one, you have to make one.

    • Nick, It’s been a while since I commented here, but something has definitely changed. I’m agreeing with you! Whoda thunkit?

    • Nick ==> You have, I’m afraid, simply missed the whole point. “Guidance?” … you actually want “guidance” from Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, etc? From unseen Google employees? You WANT their worldview imposed on the index to the world wide web? You are happy to abandon your own intellectual free-will to Google?

      Intellectual masochism — why not just have your brains sucked out?

      Read the background material linked to see why people serious about the Internet are very concerned by this issue.

      • Er Kip… You want me to believe that The Environmental Defense Fund, The Daily Intelligencer and TakePart you claim are unfairly elevated to page one of a Google search when that is patently untrue. Sounds to me like you want your worldview imposed on the rest of us.

  23. Kip

    I just did a search on “failed climate predictions”.

    Pages and pages on every article you can think of on the subject, some specifically mentioning WUWT.

    I’m sorry, but for many reasons other than this, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    It’s simply not in Google’s interests to get involved in censoring any but the most offensive of sites, even then, offensive is a matter of culture. And I’m sure they know that.

    Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, it restricts their route to profit. Advertisers are not interested in political bias, they sell to anyone. If Google sided with socialism as is frequently maintained, they would likely alienate the vast majority of their devoutly Capitalist investors.

    Is there a clandestine management group at the top of Google with a socialist imperative? Hardly likely as Google is well invested in Capitalism and knows what side it’s bread is buttered on. Drive a socialist agenda and Google risks being nationalised, or banned altogether as a subversive influence were socialism to swamp us.

    Are they squeaky clean? Of course not. What organisation is?

    • Is there a clandestine management group at the top of Google with a socialist imperative? Hardly likely as Google is well invested in Capitalism and knows what side it’s bread is buttered on. Drive a socialist agenda and Google risks being nationalised, or banned altogether as a subversive influence were socialism to swamp us.

      Money is a shadow, a shadow of power. Power, authority over others is the goal, whatever it is labeled.

      Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. Robin Morgan

      Enter burning books or hiding them and Google.

      • Gunga Din

        Power is a route to money. Money itself isn’t the problem.

        Hard work is a route to money also, but it’s a long way around. Power is frequently perceived as the shortcut but brings with it many more problems than money itself.

        A little story from my past. I worked in communities that included the inherited wealthy, the working wealthy, the working middle and lower class, and the inherited poor.

        The most agreeable of those to deal with was the inherited wealthy, who had never known a moment in their lives when they couldn’t afford something, and would never be in that position in their lifetime because they had money, were used to it, and valued what it could do for them and others. They were also thrifty to the point of misery.

        The other, equally agreeable folk were the inherited poor. They struggled from day to day to feed themselves. They barely knew what money was and freely admitted that had they any, they would probably just spend it. They never had money, nor was there a prospect of them getting any, and they were resigned to that.

        The problem people were us lot in between. Money grabbing spendthrifts who used money to exhibit social standing, with houses and cars on credit, clothes on the never never and holidays in exotic rabbit hutch resorts that were as cheap as the chips they served. Aggressive, rude, defensive and thoroughly unpleasant people.

        Money is meaningless unless it provokes a positive virtue, and that can be with, or without money. The inherited poor would surrender their last penny to help someone in need, a family member, a friend, a work colleague. Which is probably why they had no money.

        The inherited wealthy would find a means of helping people on a larger scale, perhaps not risking their own money, but instead establishing a charity, or organising a fund of some description, even a church fete. They usually contributed handsomely.

        The inherited wealthy frequently had power they never overtly wielded and, almost unwittingly, and unbidden, engendered respect. The inherited poor had nothing but self-respect.

        So from my perspective, money isn’t the problem, the desire for money is the problem. The shortcut to money, being power, is more of a problem.

        Trump has more money than he can ever spend. So why would he take a job that pays a lousy wage and causes him more problems than he ever had building hotels?

        I would suggest that it’s his desire to do something for his community. He is, perhaps, the most peaceful POTUS ever, because he would rather see people wealthy through hard work than by killing people. I may live to eat my words, but so far he’s done pretty well.

    • HotScot ==> The issue is with the hard-coding of “authoritative” labels to sites whose view points — social, political, scientific — are “approved by Google”. And the downgrading, demotion, de-ranking of sites that contain ideas contrary to the worldview of Google execs.

      On some topics, you might be pleased with the result. On others, you will be offended and angry.

      If you know what you are looking for and how to find it, this will not have as much of an adverse effect. Detailed search string like your example still return sensible results….imagine that you didn’t know or think that there was any such thing as “failed climate predictions” and were a high school student — you look up “climate predictions” — what’da’ya get? Not a single mention of the known fact that long-term climate prediction is not possible (even the IPCC acknowledges this — even if they then go on to make lots of “projections”). You will see no mention of “failed” climate predictions at all……

      It will stultify students of topics — where they do not yet know what to look for, they will only find what Google thinks they should know.

      • Kip:

        Not a single mention of the known fact that long-term climate prediction is not possible (even the IPCC acknowledges this — even if they then go on to make lots of “projections”). You will see no mention of “failed” climate predictions at all……

        I get your complaint here, but all for the sake of one missed word, “failed,” the results are satisfactory.

        I wonder if you’re not asking Google’s algorithm to do what climate modeler’s are asking their software to do, i.e., the impossible. How can Google know what’s in the mind of the individual conducting their search? Shouldn’t some responsibility be placed upon the individual conducting the search?

        If I search for “Ford” when I’m looking for information about Mustangs, I’m probably going to have to wade through some unwanted info before I get to where I wanted to go. I get what you’re saying, i.e., if I didn’t know anything about Mustangs I might never know anything about them, but still…

        And given the fact that when the correct term(s) are input into the search box the results are satisfactory seems to lessen (at least in my opinion) the idea of nefarious purposes here. Not that I wouldn’t put it past Google to do such a thing, however, the evidence would be much stronger if one couldn’t get satisfactory results ever, no matter what you did.

        There are gigabytes of forum discussions regarding how to effectively search with Google to attain the desired results.

      • Kip

        Sorry mate, that doesn’t wash.

        First off, unless one has sight of Google’s algorithms, how can you possibly maintain they are abusing them. This is like saying I suspect CO2 causes AGW, but I’m not sure, and there’s no proof, but I’ll build a case anyway.

        There’s a whistleblower desperate to make a buck somewhere in the ranks but to my limited knowledge, none have presented themselves. Why not? In every walk of life, whistleblowers are popping up. Just not at Google it seems.

        And I think you do our high school students, and their parents a disservice. OK, there are bozo kids, like there are bozo parents of bozo kids, and they don’t think further than the end of their nose. They probably won’t bother even thinking about climate change, or GMO, or vaccinations, or the Milankovitch cycle, or the meaning of life. But the world is occupied by many intelligent parents who talk to their kids about stuff. They teach them how to work things out. The bozo parents have always been, and will always be with us. Google doesn’t make that any worse, in fact, it probably makes it better as the kids have access to information on a second by second basis you and I could not have conceived in our youth.

        What you also ignore is that our kids have never known anything but an internet era. Whilst we old codgers are still making sense of it, it’s an intrinsic part of their lives, like colour TV, pirate radio and CB radio were part of ours.

        Our parents thought TV would rot our brains. Remember when they used to fret about us longing about all day watching TV? Then video recorders came along, well, that was just the worst, more time in front of the telly. Kids were banned, fights were had, relationships fractured, “You’re the worst Dad in the world EVAH” complete with stomping feet and slamming doors. That was you and I. And now we’re in our late middle ages doing what our Dad’s did.

        Our children are far savvier than you give them credit for. Their lives will be shaped by their experiences on, and offline, just as ours were. They’ll smell an online rat faster than we will. Unfortunately, they’ll figure out how to get the answers they want, just like we sceptics do, and the alarmists as well.

        And our kids talk to each other, one kid’s parent is a climate sceptic (substitute any subject you want here) another kid’s parents are alarmists. They’ll do the same as us, go scurrying off to their mobile phones to find evidence to win the debate. The debate will deepen, they have to do more research to create the winning argument, they search Google in more creative ways, they must win the debate, that’s imperative.

        That’s the intelligence of humanity. It’s why the machines will never prevail, nor the operators of those machines. The intelligent kids in China don’t bother about government restrictions, they subvert the establishment by using proxies etc. Or at least the clever ones do. The bozo kids just trundle along, as they always have, as they always will, along with their bozo parents.

        What you are presenting here is the version of the future you have designed. You are modelling behaviour and anticipating results. Guess what that reminds me of.

        And whilst I accept it’s fair warning, a bit like Orwell’s 1984 (I was so pissed off when the socialist movement didn’t swamp us so I could hide in the woods and fight it out!) It’s not a prediction.

        Like Amazon, Starbuck and Microsoft, Google has a certain commercial lifespan. It will die off or at least withdraw, the way IBM did when Bill Gates pitched up. Someone will crush Google in a similar fashion, more likely Google will fragment. Indeed, the process has already started as the parent company is Alphabet now, and Google is a bit part player already.

        In ten or twenty years time, there will be no more Google. Our children will see to that.

    • “It’s simply not in Google’s interests to get involved in censoring any but the most offensive of sites, even then, offensive is a matter of culture. And I’m sure they know that. Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, ….”

      That focus is too narrow. Google and social media sites are under strong pressure from “the good and the great” among European politicians like Merkel to make it harder for nonconforming, populist-type sites to spread what they regard as misinformation and mistrust. Fines are openly threatened, and laws have been passed in Germany making sites liable for what appears on them or even (I’m unsure) what they link to. It is in google’s interest not to be liable, not to have governments angry at them, and not to anger the “clerisy” of mainstream opinion leaders.

      • Roger Knights

        Google and the rest are conforming to the laws of the countries they operate in. That’s not political.

        And quite rightly, they are under pressure to stop violent fascist adherents like ‘the far right’ (which has nothing to do with the far right. I’m far right politically but I don’t identify with swastika’s, uniforms, masks and mob violence, that’s fascism) and ISIS.

        I mentioned the following example before: I struggled to find any reference to atmospheric water vapour when I was first interested in climate change. I couldn’t find any reference to it on any reputable site when I queried the composition of earth’s atmosphere. That had nothing to do with Google, it was entirely absent from almost every website either by their unwitting neglect, or willful exclusion.

        Nor do I believe the ‘Google algorithm’ is a single entity. It must conform to every law, in every country, in every language it straddles. The task of implementing all those variations must be mammoth. Are all these manifestations of the algorithm being constantly tweaked? I suspect so. Is error involved, or even individual bias included somewhere along the line I also suspect so.

        And the search landscape is constantly shifting with minute by minute global events. Do a search for the Boxing Day Tsunami on the Christmas Day before, and you would have found nothing. 24 hours later every search engine across the planet was swamped (no pun intended) with every reference imaginable. The Brexit referendum momentarily changed the dynamic, as did Trump’s election, nothing is sacred in the world of search, nor do I believe it’s controllable because no one can anticipate global events. Trump might do something tomorrow that endears him to the entire western world. If Google favours the anti-Trump sentiment as exists now, how would they explain that to their newly converted Trump supporters? The fact is, no one knows what’s in the future so second guessing it is a fool’s errand, especially when investors demand an explanation.

        And as I said elsewhere, investors have an inherent distrust of political and social interference, it dilutes their profits. They don’t care who buys their products. Alienate the right by favouring left-wing rhetoric and Google cuts its advertisers market by 50%. A crude description but I think you’ll get my drift.

        If investors and advertisers start to look for alternative opportunities because Google is reducing their market by internal political bias, that gives someone the opportunity to set up their own search engine and erode Googles market. That’s similar to what Google did to Yahoo although I don’t recall there being a political element involved. Google just presented a more attractive commercial opportunity to investors and advertisers.

  24. I use Norton Safe Search. Their focus is to flag sites with known or questionable security issues.
    I don’t know what “main-line” engine they bounce off of and then filter.
    I just opened a new tab and searched for “WUWT” and the first page was all links/sublinks to this site.
    Of course, my history may have something to do with that. I am careful to clean up what’s stored on my PC but I don’t know how to clean what’s been stored elsewhere. ie “the cloud”.

    PS I wonder if Mann’s and Hillary’s emails are floating around out there. 8 -)

  25. I use “https://duckduckgo.com/” as a browser. It does not track u with cookies. It also does not have any political affiliations to the MSM or elitist establishments of the western world.

  26. DuckDuckGo for a general purpose search engine. Look to your professional group for specialized SE.
    Eschew Alphabet and all things G00gle as you can. ProtonMail.ch!

  27. When I got my new phone and did a search for WUWT…instead of the page itself an ad came up describing WUWT as a site promoting Climate Denial’!
    So no bias there.

  28. Just now I searched with ‘ glaciers advance retreat ‘
    DuckDuckGo had as #1 an ad to buy a glacier from zoro dot com.
    Then a BBC article of the topic.
    Next was “Why do they move?” via NSIDC

    With Google, the first link was “Why do they move?” via NSIDC
    Next was also a NSIDC link.
    Third was academic — Geophysical Journal International — with nearly an exact match to my search string.

    Google did not have an ad, or the BBC link.
    Had I actually been looking for information, I would have selected the “Why do they move” link from either of the searches.

    So, in this case, Google seems to give a better or appropriate result.
    Now, I think I’ll go to ‘zoro’ and buy a glacier! Cheers.

  29. Kip,
    Your entire article is based around a fallacy that there is an “unbiased and objective” search algorithm.
    All algorithms are based on human judgement and as such all are biased towards what the person who writes them thinks is the optimal solution. Searching for abortion on google returns in excess of 150 million results. The number of different ways of ranking them is then (150×10^6)! which is a number with almost 40 million zeros. Now unless you are going to return a random ranking of all 150 million websites you are going to have to use your judgement to decide which ones of those sites are most relevant. And almost certainly the most relevant site for you is not going to be the most relevant site for me and similarly someone living elsewhere in the world will have a different preference.

    Hence all rankings are biased and subjective. Google is not tampering with its algorithm it is changing it – something which it has a first amendment right to do so since code is protected as free speech according to US courts. Ultimately google is optimising its rankings to maximise its revenue. So if you take you and enough of your friends take your business elsewhere google will respond by changing its algorithm. Or you are free to write your own search engine and crawl the web for links you think are good.

    • Percy ==> Did you also appreciate AT&T when it controlled the entire telephone network of the United States, with virtually no competition, doing whatever it chose without regard to the real needs of its customers?

      Do you favor cities where both daily newspapers are under the same ownership — owners who control the flow of information in the city?

      Would you like Trump to establish a commission to decide what the proper indexing of the internet is and them enforce it by law or government regulation?

      • “AT&T when it controlled the entire telephone network of the United States”
        AT&T had an actual monopoly. Google does not. It dominates because people choose to use it, when they are perfectly free to use something else if they want to.

        • Nick ==> You haven’t done your homework. You don’t seem to have read the essay either or you’d know why they have a monopoly.

          • Kip, you haven’t shown they have a monopoly. You have only shown that a lot of people prefer to use it, and you complain about what Google does for them.

          • “Managing search at our scale is a very serious barrier to entry.”
            Erich Schmidt – 2003 (when Google was only a few years old)

            What does the phrase “a very serious barrier to entry” mean to you, Nick?

          • It means you might have to be as clever as Google. But probably not; it’s easier the second time. Anyway, lots of people seem to have done it.

          • Nick, I think what Khwarizmi is hinting at is the cost. Google’s budget is surely greater than many small countries’ GDP. Certainly though we’ve seen several companies in the computer industry that were “too big to fail” do exactly that.

          • PG,
            “Nick, I think what Khwarizmi is hinting at is the cost. Google’s budget is surely”
            His quote was from 2003, when that certainly wasn’t true. But you don’t need a big budget to start a search engine. And if Google really is treating people so badly, you’d have a market.

          • you don’t need a big budget to start a search engine
            Not sure how true that might be. A very close friend of mine (now deceased) was involved in a project developing something very similar and rather than try to continue attempting to raise funds independently, approached Google for funding. The Google executive scanned the proposal closely and after considerable questioning declared they really hadn’t done their homework. The estimated cost was at least an order of magnitude greater than my friend and his partners were asking for. He said that he had the distinct impression that if they had asked for the much larger amount of money, they would have had more success.

          • I’m glad you put monopoly in quotes Nick because of course Google have no such thing. Market dominance is very different to “Exclusive possession of the trade in some article of merchandise; the condition of having no competitor in the sale of some commodity, or in the exercise of some trade or business.”

            There’s a certain element in society who hate both market dominance and monopolies. As a creative, I am granted a monopoly on my work under copyright law limited to a period of time after which that work enters the public domain. Until a few years ago, I was paid the princely sum of ~$AU100 a year of royalties collected from people photocopying my work for educational purposes.

            These days freetardism has taken over and I no longer receive those royalties. The Copyright Council of Australia is taking the government of the State of New South Wales to court to recover the royalties they owe for work they have refused to pay for during the last decade or so. I doubt I shall live long enough to see my share. Of course when the amount is small there’s insufficient financial incentive to take legal action.

            So it goes…

      • Kip,
        When AT&T had a monopoly it was forced by the government to at least partly act for the common good. One benefit of which was Bell labs which for decades did groundbreaking research leading to multiple nobel prizes, transistors, discovered Black Body radiation, pioneered information theory through the work of Claude Shannon etc. Once it was broken up all of that dried up and the amount of research being done today is a tiny fraction of what it was and we are all the poorer for it – although mobile calls are cheaper.

        And you still haven’t addressed my point that all rankings are biased and subjective and all rely on human judgement – codified into an algorithm. As stated before you are free to build your own search engine or use different ones. And if google notices that its ad revenue starts to drop because people are doing that then you can be fairly sure that it will tweak its
        algorithm to get its customers back.

        Trump or whoever might be president in the future has zero power since code is protected under the US constitution as free speech. Hence people are free to write whatever search algorithms they like.

        Finally note that as a result of this latest change to the search algorithm search for information about the holocaust no longer brings up stormfront as the top hit. So it is not all bad.

    • Percy, you didn’t listen.

      SED and AWK are not interested at all in the texts thei’re processing.

      Because they’re TEXT PROCESSING MACHINES.

      • Johann,
        SED and AWK are programming languages. SED needs a script to do anything.
        You cannot feed a list of websites into either SED or AWK and get anything out.
        You can give both of them a script and then they will transform the list into a
        different one but the script is the algorithm and that will contain the biases of
        programmer.

    • “all rankings are biased and subjective”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Even if computers really were intelligent as some seem to believe, the underlying algorithms would still contain inherent bias. The alternative is to present results unranked, that is as a randomised list. “Random ranking” is self-conbtradictory. Good luck attracting users to a search engine that randomises the results.

  30. When I do a Google search I usually get the answer I expected.
    Spell check can return interesting results.

  31. Google is a private company owned by ultra leftists (ironic, huh?) peddling their marxist world view.

    They own it and won’t change.

    What is needed is an alternative that makes a BIG play of being completely unbiased.

    It won’t happen.

    • Mardler
      What is “unbiased”? A typical search on google would probably return over a million hits. You have to have some criteria to rank them which reveals your bias. There is no objective way to rank webpages.

      • +Percy, I believe you are wrong. Up through 2008, google was an excellent search engine that did not make it hard to find “politically incorrect” results. After 2008, that began changing rapidly.

  32. I’ve long ago decided to collude with the Russians and prefer Yandex.com for my non-software-engineering search needs.

  33. I’m using StartPage.com, basically the Euro-version of DuckDuckGo. It operates off Chrome, and you’re right, first 3 pages nothing but alarmist crap after top 2 hits–first was Wal Mart and the next some financial company, both paid listings. But you know what? VERY soon it isn’t even going to matter; check out this Gallup poll wherein “global warming” or “climate change” didn’t even make the top 36 of people’s concerns:

    http://www.climatedepot.com/2018/07/21/new-gallup-poll-americans-do-not-even-mention-global-warming-as-a-problem-36-problems-cited-but-not-climate/

    Linked from Drudge to Climate Depot, this afternoon.

    • +goldrider, it still matters very much for those of us who are trying to find actual and factual INFORMATION on the subject–AND on other subjects. AGW is far from the only topic that google distorts its search results for.

  34. CommieBob (9.34am):
    ****
    “The linked reddit article contains a comment that says when you google american inventors, you get a bunch of African American inventors nobody has ever heard about.”
    ****

    https://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Screenshot-2016-09-20-00.16.12.png
    (a really obvious example of Google’s political decisions at work)

    ****
    HotScot
    “Like most great inventors, Alexander Graham Bell was a Scot. His skin colour is less important as I believe we all evolved from the same stock. I also understand location influenced skin colour more than genes.” (12.24pm)
    […]
    “I’m pretty certain it’s shareholders are Capitalists, through and through. Capitalist investors are
    inherently wary of getting involved with political movements, they inevitably fail.” (1.20pm)
    […]
    Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, it restricts their route to profit. Advertisers are not interested in political bias, they sell to anyone. If Google sided with socialism as is frequently maintained, they would likely alienate the vast majority of their devoutly Capitalist investors.” (1.50pm)
    ****

    I actually coined the phrase “Google it” and made it currency at the turn of the century when the new search engine still had a link to the beta version on the front page.

  35. There’s 2 text processing machines.

    Sole based on unix. two.

    1 awk

    2 sed – the Stream lined EDitor.

    No forseeable life without 1, 2

  36. Fight back by loading the extension from adnauseam.io that “clicks ads so you don’t have to”. It is an ad blocker but it fills their databases with garbage. It is an approach so threatening to Goolag’s business model that they banned it from the Chrome store.

    Be the “GI in GIGO”!!!

  37. I find that search engines are becoming progressively less accurate or useful. Numerous times I find that the first hit is completely unrelated to the subject I want, and contains NONE of the keywords I’d entered. – and that’s even true of a search of the page source.

  38. i used it on my first pc a longtime ago2000’s
    its been removed along with all the other common engines on every pc i use since then
    ixquicks good
    brave seems to be popular
    duckduckgo is decent
    wont touch any m/soft bings chromes whatever either
    really nice program from ABINE stops tracking when you browse n removes most ads n muck, called Blur.

  39. Excellent essay.
    Google, and others in the intolerantvarrogant left, have forgotten the important maxim:

    To do a great evil, one must convince themselves they are doing a great good.

    What is a greater good than being convinced one’s opinions are the onkybacceptable opinions to have?

  40. Something that is easily forgotten but important to remember about Google is that they are not a search engine, they are a marketing and advertising business. One of the most disturbing and unaddressed issues surrounding them is that they now hold a complete monopoly on marketing globally, and that their influence can make or break a business, small or large. In any discussion on neutrality, this needs to be taken into account. Because of the opacity of their operations, if they do (or have already) decided to bias their search results in political matters (and brag about it), and have incorporated the ability to do so, it is impossible to know if they are doing this in other arenas too. This should be of huge concern to governments and organisations like the EU, and they should seriously consider breaking up the monopoly once and for all.

    As I understand it (and I might have this wrong), historically a company loses its trademark if it becomes a common household term. Hoover fell foul of this when people started calling vacuum cleaners ‘hoovers’, and lost huge value in their product..

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

    For years people have been saying “google it” rather than “search for it”. Surely this is grounds for google to lose their trademark and open the marketing arena up to fair competition again? To address the inequality, competitors should be able to operate under a ‘google’ banner with competing systems. To be fair they offer a very good quality product, but they do owe their favoured position to good fortune over anything else. The current and potential influence they wield – culturally, politically and economically – is very evil should not be tolerated.

  41. Just for fun, I just ran a search for “global warming”. Isn’t it interesting that the NUMBER 1 science blog and global warming site, Wattsupwiththat, doesn’t show up until PAGE 11. And jonova.com didn’t even show up in 20 pages.

    So people who actually want to learn about global warming must go through 10, google-approved, pro-globalwarming pages before they can start seeing anything that refutes the New Religion.

    • “So people who actually want to learn about global warming must go through 10, google-approved, pro-globalwarming pages before they can start seeing anything that refutes the New Religion.”

      Only if they’re not savvy enough to restrict the search. Try “global warming scam”

      The Stunning Statistical Fraud Behind The Global Warming Scare

      Global Warming: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have a boring name, but it has a very important job: It measures U.S. temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems to be a captive of the global warming religion. Its data are fraudulent.

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/the-stunning-statistical-fraud-behind-the-global-warming-scare/

      Or “global warming scare”

      The Nazi Roots Of The Global Warming Scare

      Generally speaking, the first person in a debate who compares their opponent to Hitler or the Nazis at that moment loses the argument. When the Third Reich is invoked, it’s usually clear evidence that that person’s position is so weak that they have had to resort to a gross misrepresentation of the other’s position.

      There are exceptions, of course, because sometimes the Nazi label fittingly applies. Sometimes the lineage of a movement, institution or political figure can traced right back to the German fascist regime.

      This is the case with today’s environmentalism, according to a one-time British investment banker.”

      https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/the-nazi-roots-of-the-global-warming-scare/

      Or “global warming swindle”

      The Great Global Warming Swindle

      The Great Global Warming Swindle caused controversy in the UK when it premiered on Channel 4. According to Martin Durkin’s documentary, the chief cause of climate change is not human activity but changes in radiation from the sun.

      Some have called The Great Global Warming Swindle the definitive retort to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Using a comprehensive range of evidence it’s claimed that warming over the past 300 years represents a natural recovery from a ‘little ice age’.

      https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/great-global-warming-swindle/

      Or “global warming hoax”

      Climate Change Hoax Exposed

      Since the beginning of recorded history there have been end of the world predictions. In recent years we have had radio preachers, politicians and scientists declare with certainty that the world would soon end, either because of our decadent lifestyle, or because of “global warming,” now known as “climate change.”

      Responses to these Chicken Little declarations have ranged from people hiding in caves to the most recent announcement by Costco that it has a doomsday meal kit for sale. The cost is $6,000. The online listing says the kit contains 36,000 servings of food that will feed a family of four for one year.”

      If you expect Google to read what passes for your mind, you get precisely what you ask for. Please. Stop. Moaning. Or search on “most viewed climate”. Despite all the protestations, this gets me to WUWT. Handy for when senility makes me forget I made a bookmark. Unless I also forget “most viewed climate”. Oh noes! Won’t somebody please make Google do my thinking for me?

  42. Epilogue:

    I have been mostly away from the Internet for the last 24 hours, attending to family matters, and have been content to allow the snipers and trolls to fight among themselves.

    I will address the two most common complaints briefly here, and then wrap up with a closing statement:

    1) Nick Stokes et al. insist that Google has a near monopoly (what is called a “virtual monopoly” or a “monopoly in effect”) simply because they have a better product and people like it. I refer all those with this misapprehension to review the findings of TWO recent European Union lawsuits which have resulted in Google being fined a total of 7.8 Billion Dollars for anti-competitive business practices, both suits revolving around Google Search. That does not sound like the EU would agree with Stokes.

    2) A few detractors point out, and rely on in their attacks, that when they run a Google Search on the same search string (like: “climate change”) they get a different result than I noted. This line of attack falls through the “not the same thing at the same time” trap-door. Google’s algorithm is very complex and will not return exactly the same results even on self-repeated same-string searches over the period of a day — headlines change, lead article titles change and your personal relationship with Google changes the results in minor ways. Google has, according to Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering, Google Search, “adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content … “. My examples are only to point out the deleterious effects of this action.

    Let me point out that as far as I can tell, not a single comment has been made about the philosophical questions raised at the end of the essay — not many readers seem to be worried about the larger picture.

    Many comments seem to think that entering in the (biased by definition) human judgements on “what is authoritative” and what is “low-quality” is a good thing. It is my opinion that this view is misguided — Adam White, author of the article “Google.gov”, expressed his concern that it would escalate into a bad thing.

    I think it has already escalated into a bad thing.

    Thanks for reading.

    [ Those desperate for a reply or with links they think I should see personally can email me at my first name at the domain i4 decimal net. ]

    # # # # #

    • Monopolies (and duopolies) are determined by market share and the ability to set pricing. They have nothing to do the quality of product or the number of competitors. For example Microsoft dominated the PC market with crappy Windows versions, when the Mac OS was far superior. And yes I can buy a Windows phone if I want, but that doesn’t change the fact that Android and iPhones have duopolies. Barriers of entry are also factors to consider.

      Saying all algorithms are biased as an excuse is true but meaningless. Racists are biased, but all humans are biased, so I guess it’s okay? The issue isn’t whether Google is biased it’s how they are biased.

      Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (which is owned by Google) have been exposed to have censored centrist, conservative and libertarian content through the use of shadow banning, demonetization and deplatforming. The Google engineer who fired for writing the non-PC memo gives great insight into the Google corporate culture, not just at the executive level, but throughout the entire organization.

    • Kip, you have yet to address the philosophical issue of what advantage does a random return of results provide in the way of benefit? Any system of ranking is by definition based on opinion and all opinion is subjective. The only alternative is a random listing. Your chosen string “climate change” results in 597,000,000 hits using Google. That would mean finding WUWT in a randomised list far more difficult than with Google’s technology. Who has the time to scroll through 597,000 hits for a 1% chance of finding what you want them to find?

      • “Kip, you have yet to address the philosophical issue of what advantage does a random return of results provide in the way of benefit? ”

        Where did Kip ever suggest this?

        When you have to rely on straw man arguments, Git, your position is weak and pathetic.

        • “Where did Kip ever suggest this?”

          He didn’t, nor do I say he did. Kip objects to opinion (by definition subjective) being used to rank searches using vague terms. The alternative to this is a random listing. If there’s a third way I haven’t thought of, please enlighten me. “Objective opinion” is self-contradictory. This appears to be a clear instance of the Law of the Excluded Middle.

          • No, Kip and I object to political beliefs injected into a “Do no evil” business model that pretends to be fair and objective.

          • You appear to be conflating Google’s business model with how Google’s search engine works. Why don’t you deal with the issue of how you’re going to remove subjectivity without destroying utility?

            The straw man here BTW is Kip’s choice of search terms. I suppose there are people who search on “climate change” and expect Google to read their minds… I also don’t think “authoritative” means what you appear to assume it does. Using the example I used earlier, when Jerry Pournelle linked to my blog, it “surfaced” (to use Googlespeak) my blog. That’s because Jerry’s website had a higher PageRank than mine and, importantly, was relevant. Jerry in turn gained authority from his Chaos Manor column in Byte magazine.

            I can’t recall Page and Brin saying their engine was “fair and objective”, but I can recall them describing it as “democratic” because users of the engine generated “surface” when they clicked on search results. That is, Google turned web-searching into a popularity contest.

            There’s a legitimate concern that popularity contests are not necessarily fair and objective, especially to minorities. But this one does maximise income from ad-flinging. If you decide from your ivory tower that the hoi poloi don’t really know what’s good for them, then you appear to be advocating some method of giving the unpopular a leg-up.

            The usual reason for this is advocacy of wresting control from the successful business-owner and transferring that to the government. As a libertarian I find that far more disturbing than innuendo that Google is fiddling with their property and should be prevented from doing so.

    • Kip,
      “I refer all those with this misapprehension to review the findings of TWO recent European Union lawsuits which have resulted in Google being fined a total of 7.8 Billion Dollars for anti-competitive business practices, both suits revolving around Google Search.”
      They were not lawsuits, but administrative decisions, and the process is not yet complete, both being appealed. And if you say the EU would not agree with me, I can trump that:
      “I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!”

      • Nick ==> I wouldn’t have pegged you as a Trump booster.

        If you had read the background material, you would have discovered that the EU actions were based on suits brought by the Raff’s among others….

        • “the EU actions were based on suits brought by the Raff’s among others…”

          Now that’s a real boost to your credibility! [/sarc]

          A Raff is a common term in London used to describe a person who spends more time sleeping around than making sammiches. Raffs are prone to many of the same difficulties as whores, namely STDs and threats of pwnage from angry cheated-on girlfriends. She is a raff until she sleeps with you. A “raff” who does sleep with you is no longer a raff, but a “cool chick” who knows how to have a good time. Then, when you get tired of her and it’s time to move on, she goes back to being a raff again. If she looks like she’s trying to shoplift week old cold cuts in her panties, she’s probably a raff.

        • Kip,
          I’m pegging Trump as a Google booster. I’m not a booster myself – just a mostly satisfied user.

          There were no lawsuits by the Raff’s either – just a complaint to the EU (won’t work after Brexit). All the action was within the EU bureaucracy.

          • And I thought the EU was “Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-free market, incompetent, corrupt and leading Europe on a white-knuckle ride into economic oblivion” or something. This place sure has changed a lot while I was away!

          • In the US, these types of actions are often {probably incorrectly] as “anti-trust suits” … they are called, by the FTC, “anti-trust cases“.

            Regardless of the quibbles about language, English is only one of three procedural languages of the EU, the EU found 7.8 billion dollars worth of anti-competitive behaviors….in any normal world, that’s a lot of anti-competitiveness.

            Of course, you may think that I am part of a cabal, a secret society, a deep conspiracy — in league with the bureaucrats of the EU — to make up “fake news” to smear poor totally innocent Google…..whose only crime to to make a better product.

            You might take time out for a reality check.

            You are entitled to your own opinion, wrong as it may be, but for the rest of the world, the reality about Google and monopolistic/anti-competitive behaviors is very well established — so far, 7.8 billion dollars worth.

          • Holy Batfish Catman!

            In the US, these types of actions are often {probably incorrectly] as “anti-trust suits” … they are called, by the FTC, “anti-trust cases“.

            It’s interesting to note the FTC finding on Google’s purported anti-competitive behaviour:

            “The evidence the FTC uncovered through this intensive investigation prompted us to require significant changes in Google’s business practices. However, regarding the specific allegations that the company biased its search results to hurt competition, the evidence collected to date did not justify legal action by the Commission,” said Beth Wilkinson, outside counsel to the Commission. “Undoubtedly, Google took aggressive actions to gain advantage over rival search providers. However, the FTC’s mission is to protect competition, and not individual competitors. The evidence did not demonstrate that Google’s actions in this area stifled competition in violation of U.S. law.”

            Regardless of the quibbles about language, English is only one of three procedural languages of the EU, the EU found 7.8 billion dollars worth of anti-competitive behaviors….in any normal world, that’s a lot of anti-competitiveness.

            While the FTC is required to find evidence of actual damage, the EU Commission is under no such obligation. The Commission is only required to show the potential to cause damage. Imagine if you will that this principle extended to criminal law. You could be charged with “murder”, found guilty and executed, or imprisoned for life even while the “victim” is still alive.

            Of course, you may think that I am part of a cabal, a secret society, a deep conspiracy — in league with the bureaucrats of the EU — to make up “fake news” to smear poor totally innocent Google…..whose only crime to to make a better product.

            Before making allegations such as this you should follow Willis’s excellent advice, “Please quote my words”. All of the above is entirely inside your imagination. What I, Nick and several others contend is that despite seeking your guidance in finding evidence of bias in search results, you have provided no such evidence. You have dragged in considerable amounts of “whataboutism”.

            You might take time out for a reality check.

            Back at you.

            You are entitled to your own opinion, wrong as it may be, but for the rest of the world, the reality about Google and monopolistic/anti-competitive behaviors is very well established — so far, 7.8 billion dollars worth.

            As far as I’m aware, the USA is part of “the rest of the world”, but then again it’s only my opinion. I gave the FTC’s decision above. You are also arguing by Appeal to Authority, a logical fallacy. Then there’s the credibility of the authority you appeal to: the EU Commission. Here are some of their decisions:

            It became illegal to eat “pet” horses when investigation revealed that two million pet horses are eaten in the EU each year. Apparently it’s OK to eat your neighbour’s horse, but not your own.

            All bananas must now be “free of abnormal curvature”. Under the rules, cucumbers must be “practically straight” and bent by a gradient of no more than 1/10. Great if you like Lady Finger (very sweet), but not so great if like my wife, you prefer Cavendish (not so sweet and bent).

            It’s illegal to label bottles of drinking water suggesting consumption will fight dehydration. If water doesn’t prevent dehydration, what does?

            After a “thorough investigation”, the EU ruled: “The evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of dried plums of ‘prune’ cultivars and ‘maintenance of normal bowel function'”. IOW they claim there is no laxative effect when you consume them. Really? Maybe they determined that EU Commision’s decisions are enough to give you the sh!ts.

            Britain’s favourite sauce, HP, is now made in Holland and so must comply with EU rules. The EU rules required the recipe be changed, dramatically reducing sales. The offending ingredient was sugar. The majority of consumers say the flavour is now “off”.

          • Git ==> Did you read any of the background material — or are you just searching for things that support your own view?
            The Google.gov article is about the revolving-door of Google employees into the Obama administration and the close relationship between Obama himself and Google execs. It does not surprise me that FTC despite its own findings, ruled them not actionable.
            The EU, though, was not so swayed.

          • Did you read any of the background material — or are you just searching for things that support your own view?

            I certainly read what you linked to, but remain unimpressed. I tested your assertions and found them wanting, have said so and why. You have remained almost entirely silent on such things as how you would remedy the supposed misconduct by Google, or objectively order search results without randomising them. You also appear to approve the massive transfer of wealth from the US to the EU where it can be put to such useful purposes as propping up the economic basket case called Spain. I note that several times during his time as POTUS that Obama believed the US should become more like Spain. See:

            https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2011/09/obama_green_jobs_con_job_and_the_ill_wind_that_blows_from_spain.html

            Instead of arm waving and name calling, why don’t you address the issues I raise directly?

          • Git ==> I am not here to answer your questions….what ever makes you think that authors here (or anywhere) are obliged to answer your random-seeming questions?

            This is not an essay on the remedy for Google’s self-admitted malfeasance . Your imagination really runs wild with “You also appear to approve the massive transfer of wealth from the US to the EU”. I simply report on the EU action that fines Google 7.8 billion dollars as support for the idea that Google is engaging in anti-competitive action.
            I certainly have no opinion about Spain, Obama, and your ideas about how Obama wanted the US to become like Spain.

            I’m sure that some here would love to read your thoughts on the questions you raise — maybe you should write them up as a comprehensive essay. There is a SUBMIT STORY page.

          • I am not here to answer your questions….what ever makes you think that authors here (or anywhere) are obliged to answer your random-seeming questions?

            Nowhere have I said you are under an obligation to answer my questions that are decidedly not random.

            This is not an essay on the remedy for Google’s self-admitted malfeasance.

            It certainly isn’t. But it does claim that websites sceptical of CAGW are being demoted in Google searches and proCAGW websites are being promoted. Your “evidence” that Google is doing so is that the EU Commissioner has fined Google 7.8 billion dollars. Not for what you allege, not for causing actual damage to its rivals Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo etc, but for having the capacity to do so.

            If you are going to moan about how Google manages its searches, you really ought to give some thought to how you are going to establish that they are causing harm and what might be done to remedy the situation if you want to justify your assertions. Clearly you feel no need to do so and that is, as you say, your prerogative. I’m fine with that.

            Further you allege that Google has admitted malfeasance without showing that they did. In the anti-trust case between Google and the FTC Google was warned the company was sailing a bit close to the wind and if they wanted to avoid prosecution in the future, they would have to make certain changes to their business practices. To the best of my knowledge, Google has made those changes, or the FTC is being lax in its threats.

            I refer once more to the following analysis of the issue:

            Can Google Legally Manipulate Search Engine Results?
            Tansy Woan J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2013; M.A., Binghamton University, 2011; B.A., Binghamton University, 2009. The author, an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

            https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1463&context=jbl

            If Anthony wants an op ed from me to promote discussion in a separate thread, I’m sure he will contact me. I’ve done the research and written most of what’s needed albeit piecemeal. I can’t guarantee staying alive long enough to finish such a project, but that’s life innit?

          • Git ==> Of course Google can legally manipulate search results to their hearts content — it is their product. If you have thought that was the issue here — you have misunderstood.

            The issue is whether or not Google’s doing so (it is their claim that they are doing it, btw, I am just looking for evidence of the result) is a breach of public trust and their own publicly stated values and standards.

            I wouldn’t worry, Anthony is unlikely to solicit an op ed from you, rest easy. Anthony has never solicited one from me, either. [That’s not how this blog works….]

          • Of course Google can legally manipulate search results to their hearts content — it is their product. If you have thought that was the issue here — you have misunderstood.

            Perhaps I did misunderstand. How would you interpret the following quote from the top of this page? Under the assumption that both statements are by you, which one am I to accept?

            The world’s most influential information-gateway — GOOGLE Search — has recently made the decision to abandon its long-standing primary corporate policies: 1) “Don’t Be Evil” and 2) Provide internet search results based upon neutral algorithms, not human judgment; unbiased and objective.

            [emphasis mine]

            The issue is whether or not Google’s doing so (it is their claim that they are doing it, btw, I am just looking for evidence of the result) is a breach of public trust and their own publicly stated values and standards.

            Of course they admitted it! They admitted they have downgraded stormwatch and similar hate sites. They admitted they have removed porn from the simple search “black girls” and others. They have done so in response to vocal public demand when the algorithms used alone respond to actual demand for access to those sites. It’s certainly not what I would call “a breach of trust”, or “Being Evil”.

            I’m not at all worried that Anthony will solicit an op ed from me. It would be a privilege to be able to do something for him when he has provided me with so much excellent food for thought.

          • “You are entitled to your own opinion, wrong as it may be, but for the rest of the world, the reality about Google…”
            Again, sounds like Yogi Berra – no one eats there because it is too crowded. The rest of the world is using Google in preference to the alternatives.

          • Nick ==> You willy-nilly assign “cause” based on assumption — without data.
            We already know Google Search has the lion’s share of the market. I have supplied far more than enough background material to support the idea that Google has been engaging in anti-competitive behaviors — much of which had the effect of boosting Google Search’s market share.
            Simply repeating “No it ain’t!” does not make for a conversation.

          • We already know Google Search has the lion’s share of the market. I have supplied far more than enough background material to support the idea that Google has been engaging in anti-competitive behaviors — much of which had the effect of boosting Google Search’s market share.

            You have most certainly not! First you need to show that a market exists. In a market goods and services are offered for sale. Access to search engines is not sold. Use of Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo etc is completely free.

            One of the purposes of the Sherman Act was to prevent monopolies from stifling competition and consequently driving up prices. You cannot, by definition, drive up the price of a product that everyone can have for free. It’s widely agreed that monopolies hurt innovation. Where there is only one seller of a product, that seller has little incentive to innovate or to improve the product because the seller does not have to worry about a competing product. So how does this occur when none of the search providers charge for their services?

            The number one reason for Google’s success in Internet search is because they have innovated when their competitors were not. There is no evidence that Google has acted to stifle innovation; rather the reverse. Google regularly improves its search engine in order to remain competitive.

            If the government intervenes in Google’s decision-making, it’s more likely to stifle innovation as the added burden of seeking approval for changes might make innovation no longer worthwhile. There would also be the possibility that the government might decide that yes, Google’s proposed change to its search engine is effective it will increase Google’s market share, so therefore this new benefit for the consumer cannot be allowed.

          • PG “One of the purposes of the Sherman Act was to prevent monopolies from stifling competition and consequently driving up prices. You cannot, by definition, drive up the price of a product that everyone can have for free. ”

            I am lawyer, but not an antitrust lawyer. I know of no case or statute that states what you claim. Can you give a citation for the proposition that “free” [I would state that Google is not free. It takes my time and my privacy and uses them to profit) products are not subject to antitrust laws? Wikipedia stated: “One view, mostly closely associated with the “Chicago School of economics” suggests that antitrust laws should focus solely on the benefits to consumers and overall efficiency, while a broad range of legal and economic theory sees the role of antitrust laws as also controlling economic power in the public interest.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law#Monopolization

          • JD, I am not a lawyer, but have been responsible for the implementation of law and government legislation where I live. What I am doing here therefore is relying on published legal opinion from the US.

            The Northern District of California rejected KinderStart’s “Search Market” theory failed as a “relevant market” because Google, like most other search engines, provides its search services free of cost, and US antitrust law does not concern itself with “competition in the provision of free services.” Thus, the court held that “the Search Market [was] not a ‘[relevant] market’ for purposes of antitrust law.”

            See KinderStart.com LLC v. Google, Inc. (KinderStart II), No. C 06-2057 JF (RS), slip op. at 8 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 16, 2007).

            The Sherman Act does not address competition in the provision of free services because it never occurred to its framers to do so. They believed, as do I, that a market only exists where goods and, or services are exchanged for money.

            Please note that I have not stated that “Google is free”, rather the opposite. I have stated that Google does not charge the user of its search engine rather Google “monetises” the users of its web search engine by targeted advertising (ad-flinging).

            Hope that helps.

          • PG: The First Sentence of the Court Opinion you cite states: “This disposition is not designated for publication and may not be cited.” What this means is that the judge’s decision is designed to resolve the case before him or her and was not designed to be a statement of law to be followed by other courts or other parties. So, it is very weak authority.

            Under Obama, the FTC investigated Google and its staff found that “Google has unlawfully maintained its monopoly over general search and search advertising in violation of Sec. 2, or otherwise engaged in unfair methods of competition in violation of Sec. 5” See p. 116 here http://graphics.wsj.com/ftc-google-report/ So, by strong implication the staff was rejecting your argument. Of course, Google execs were strong supporters of Obama, and undoubtedly that played a significant role in the FTC rejecting its staff’s report. In any event, the FTC staff had no problem finding that Google was regulated by antitrust law.

            As I said, I am not an expert in antitrust law, but I see no reason that a commercial enterprise as powerful as Google should not be regulated by antitrust law. To me (not fully researched–first impression), I believe there is a commercial exchange between Google and its users and that is enough to implicate antitrust law. The fact that those who use Google’s search engine do not pay Google money, in my mind, shouldn’t matter because Google receives valuable commercial consideration from its users.

            JD

          • Thanks for the response JD. As I said, I am not a lawyer, nor am I hugely familiar with US law to the extent of knowing the somewhat narrower meaning of US technical terms. When I used the word “published” I used it in its wider sense of “made generally known; publicly announced or declared; officially promulgated or proclaimed; of a book, etc., issued or offered to the public”. My bad. I was aware that it wasn’t a judicial opinion, nor did I say it was.

            I have over the last few days read a number of published (in its wider sense) opinions of legal practitioners in the US about various aspects of the Google case and note that there is a number of theories indicating that until the Supreme Court makes a determination debate will continue.

            It’s important to note that I have also not suggested that Google should be immune from anti-trust law; far from it. Making sense of this does, in my opinion, require distinguishing between different aspects of Google’s business. Google’s revenue comes from its ad-flinging and clearly this is a market and so should be subject to Sherman and any other relevant anti-trust legislation.

            Google’s search engine needs, again in my opinion, to be evaluated on different grounds. It seems to me (and some US legal professionals) that Google search findings should be treated as a list of opinions from which searcher chooses. I take opinion here to mean “what one thinks or how one thinks about something; judgement resting on grounds insufficient for complete demonstration; belief of something as probable, or as seeming to one’s own mind to be true, though not certain or established.”

            Kip and others are taking a search engine results page to be a statement of fact, rather than opinion where I use fact in the sense of “truth attested by direct observation or authentic testimony”.

            Now a fact can be true or false. If the truth value of a statement is incapable of being evaluated , then by definition it’s not a fact. Clearly opinions do not have a truth value though they may be assigned a probability of being true, such a probability of course being less than one.

            If we use the example of asking Google’s opinion regarding the “best digital SLR” to purchase, I find seven in the box at the head of the page: five Nikons and two Canons. Now it might be the case that I consider the Hasselblad HV DSLR to be better than what Google suggests. Am I to berate Google for not knowing that? Should I be able to take legal action against Google for “misinforming” me?

            I’m afraid Kip has opened a can of worms and is objecting to finding worms in the can.

            Again, thanks for your assistance in enabling me to clarify my thoughts.

          • PG ” My bad. I was aware that it wasn’t a judicial opinion, nor did I say it was.”

            It is a judicial opinion, but the judge is saying that he or she doesn’t want it to have precedential value. Legal publishing history will explain it. 30 years ago, opinions weren’t published electronically and were published in bound volumes. In Ohio, appellate courts would designate cases that they considered to be worthy of precedential value for publication in the bound volumes. Trial judges in the appropriate appellate districts were bound to follow these decisions. The remaining (approximately 90%) unpublished opinions were part of the public record in the county where decided but were difficult to access. These were not legally given precedential value.

            It seems that the federal judge is using the same procedure that was used in Ohio 30 years ago. He or she thought that the case could be decided without extensively researching all of the issues, and the Court decided that it did not want its case cited or used as precedent.

            Will add that I consider Google to be extremely arrogant and that I switched to the Bing search engine about 4 years ago. At that time, Google (over the objections of 99% of the users who commented) changed its compose feature on gmail in ways to make gmail more like texting and extremely clunky. One of the stupid things that Google did was make it impossible to change the subject line when you replied. Eventually, over time Google moderated its extreme changes, but the arrogance was more than I could take and whenever possible, I avoid Google products. For comments on gmail compose and Google arrogance see: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/gmail/10vlXAH5jKo/VxDqVCO2HtEJ

          • Divided by a common language we are and the difficulty of being a non-specialist in the field.

            Its not only Google that are arrogant. I have only recently been forced to use GMail and that fortunately only briefly. Along with a few million other users, my Yahoo! credentials were “stolen” and Yahoo! now claim I don’t know my grandfather’s name, or the name of the primary school I attended. I know there are other “free” email services, but I’ve had my GMail account as a backup almost from when it started.

            Nearly all my email is to my own domain and I have had several providers over the last two decades. Currently I use FastMail mainly because their web and mobile phone interfaces are superb and they are affordable. Unfortunately, my domain registrar recently claimed I’d forgotten my password (untrue) when renewal of my domain came due. FastMail’s spam filter prevented the email to allow me to change my password to be passed on to me. The domain registrar refused to accept my GMail address for contact purposes. FastMail support was execrable even though one of the higher-ups babysat my son when he was in primary school.

            I eventually sorted the problem, but it took several weeks and consumed huge amounts of time, a valuable commodity when you’re my age.

            I use Google search a lot; Google Scholar almost as much as the general search engine. Both serve my purposes extraordinarily well which is why I decided to devote so much effort into ascertaining the veracity of Kip’s claim that Google was fiddling the results. A friend who does SEO says that most other useful search engines use Google (they call it peeking) so any fiddling would presumably flow through to the others.

          • Addendum to the above
            JD, you quoted wikipedia: “One view, mostly closely associated with the “Chicago School of economics” suggests that antitrust laws should focus solely on the benefits to consumers and overall efficiency, while a broad range of legal and economic theory sees the role of antitrust laws as also controlling economic power in the public interest.”

            Back in the 1960s I read a lot of political philosophy and an essay on US anti-trust impressed me greatly. It might have been by Alan Greenspan. Back in the 1930s General Electric (IIRC) had been found guilty of colluding with its rivals to keep prices higher than they could be. GE’s response was to wipe out its competition by lowering prices below what could sustain them economically.

            A more recent example of anti-trust invoking the Law of Unintended Consequences was when Microsoft sold Windows 95 without their web browser Internet Explorer as they had been ordered to in their settlement of their anti-trust case. There were howls of protest because MS were selling Internet Explorer as part of the Plus Pack for Windows 95 and that was “gouging” when their rivals were giving away web browsers. Technically you were supposed to pay for Netscape, but I don’t imagine any more users paid for it than paid for Peter Tattam’s Trumpet winsock that was needed to access the Internet on Win3.x.

            Of course the ultimate examples of government interference are places like North Korea. Not the kind of place I’d like to live.

    • A few detractors point out, and rely on in their attacks, that when they run a Google Search on the same search string (like: “climate change”) they get a different result than I noted. This line of attack falls through the “not the same thing at the same time” trap-door. Google’s algorithm is very complex and will not return exactly the same results even on self-repeated same-string searches over the period of a day — headlines change, lead article titles change and your personal relationship with Google changes the results in minor ways.

      Actually, the “line of attack,” (which isn’t really an “attack” at all, Kip, it’s just a criticism and an objectively verifiable contradiction of your argument. Aren’t you guilty of ad hominem nonsense here?) is a valid criticism of what appears to be an ill-informed line of reasoning on your part (in my opinion).

      If Google were conspiring to produce a certain result for a specific search, then Google would “return exactly the same results” every time. But given you’ve admitted above that “Google’s algorithm is very complex and will not return exactly the same results even on self-repeated same-string searches over the period of a day,” then it would appear you’ve contradicted your own assumptions.

      If Google’s search won’t return the same results even on a self-repeated same-string search over the same day, then you haven’t a clue exactly what results will be returned on that same-string search for any given user. The best you can do is search for yourself, which confirms only that whatever is returned to you is returned for your specific instantiation of Google search. Such says nothing about what is returned for another user’s search using same search string.

      Thank you, however, for your work looking into this.

      • Aren’t you [Kip] guilty of ad hominem nonsense here?

        No he’s not. An ad hom is responding to someone’s argument by attacking them. Kip is here stating the bleeding obvious after I have pointed out much the same. So yes, he contradicts himself. I’ve tried rather hard to substantiate Kip’s claims with no success. WUWT’s apparent “burial” is easily explained without needing a Google conspiracy. The claimed beneficiaries of Google’s supposed redistribution, don’t even appear on my horizon.

    • Kip Hansen said:

      “I refer all those with this misapprehension to review the findings of TWO recent European Union lawsuits which have resulted in Google being fined a total of 7.8 Billion Dollars for anti-competitive business practices, both suits revolving around Google Search. That does not sound like the EU would agree with Stokes.”

      You don’t have to have a monopoly to engage in anti-competitive business practices. You can certainly make arguments for something being a monopoly, but simply pointing out that someone is prosecuting someone for anti-competitive business practices isn’t actually making an argument.

      “My examples are only to point out the deleterious effects of this action.”

      But other examples don’t point to google favoring the site you think should be ranked highest? If there is a hand on the scales, then why doesn’t it always push on the same side of the scales?

      • If there is a hand on the scales, then why doesn’t it always push on the same side of the scales?

        It’s almost impossible to say whether it does, or doesn’t in most cases. In any event, it doesn’t really matter.

        The first hand is PageRank which works based on a selection of authoritative websites transferring their authority downward. There’s a list of PageRank 10 websites here:

        https://www.searchenginegenie.com/pagerank-10-sites.htm

        Note that Yahoo! uses a similar system; so similar the same websites rank at the top on Yahoo! Changes at this level are minor and not very frequent. Same hand on the same side of the scale, but different scales. WUWT’s PageRank is 7, Australia’s largest retailer Coles is 6.

        As well as PageRank, there are the “invisible” code tweaks that Google obviously apply. It’s no secret that stormwatch’s placement plummeted not so very long ago. Quite clearly there was a shift of hand on the scales. Doubtless there are many other changes under the hood that we won’t notice.

        There are three important things here though. Kip is objecting to the fact that it’s Google’s hand on the scales. As it happens, this is Google’s right under the US constitution and this has been ruled upon by the FTC. Now it is possible to remove Google’s hand from the scales by transferring control of the scales to some other entity such as the government. That is abrogate Google’s First Amendment rights. How this can be done for one individual I have no idea. Removing everyone’s is likely to encounter some stiff opposition. Presumably this government entity would be just as “unbiased” as the Environmental Protection Agency.

        The other important point is that there’s another hand on the scale: that of the user of Google. Results of a search are far more dependent on user input, through both the user’s choice of search terms and Google’s observations of users’ search behaviour. I think I have elsewhere in this thread amply demonstrated that this is more than sufficient to overcome any perceived bias from Google’s hand.

        Lastly, using Google is not mandatory. We are all free to use the search engine of our own choice. We are even free to go to the public library and do our research via publications on paper and not use the Internet at all.

  43. During the Vietnam War, the US won the Tet Offensive. North Vietnam had shot it’s last wad. But the MSM (at that time only 3 networks) covered it as if we had lost. If they had covered Bataan or Normandy in the same way, the West coast would be speaking Japanese and the East coast German. (Forgive my exaggeration but you get my point. The US would have quit.)
    Freedom of the Press.
    Today it mostly lives on the internet.
    If the Big Boys in the search engine business are deciding (hard coding) rankings based on the coders’ opinions (or the coders’ boss’s) about the trustworthiness of a site’s content, we have a problem.

      • You deserve the “Thanks” for pointing it out.
        I’m just an old “layman” who doesn’t like being sold a bill of goods.
        (This was, I think, the 2nd of a 5 part series? Don’t be discouraged by the comments thus far. This is a site of skeptics, after all. 8- )

        PS I just saw your “Epilogue”. My previous and this comment were made before I read it. (possible due to the “Edit” window.)

    • “During the Vietnam War, the US won the Tet Offensive. North Vietnam had shot it’s last wad. But the MSM (at that time only 3 networks) covered it as if we had lost.”

      I remember reading the newspaper accounts of the Tet Offensive, while it was happening (I was stationed in Germany at the time), and the U.S. was portrayed as losing badly. Which I found very hard to believe.

      I arrived in South Vietnam a few months after the Tet Offensive had ended, and the situation I found was completely different than what had been reported. U.S. and South Vietnamese troops had defeated the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong guerrilla attackers, to the point the Viet Cong were no longer an effective fighting force for the rest of the war.

      I guess the Viet Cong must have been reading American newspapers and thought they were winning the war and when the Tet Offensive commenced, the Viet Cong, who had been doing their dirty work while hiding among the South Vietnamese population for decades, decided the Tet Offensive was the time to show their faces and they did, and were promptly wiped out by American and ARVN forces as a result. The Cong shouldn’t believe everything they read in American newspapers, especially if the subject is war.

      My trip to South Vietnam was my first wakeup call to the fact that the MSM had a political bias, and that political bias had realworld consequences.

      I never trusted the MSM after that. And I haven’t changed my mind about them even after all this time. If anything, they are much more biased and politically partisan now than even back then. The one saving grace is Fox News Channel when it came along in 1996. Before that, the Leftwing MSM had a monopoly on the “truth”.

      The Leftwing MSM is in the business of creating false, leftwing realities. False realities that are harmful to the United States. Don’t be fooled. Assume they are biased until proven otherwise. Don’t accept what they say at face value because much of it is filtered through leftwing goggles.

      • First off, Thanks you for your service.
        Second off, Will Rogers was known to say, “All I know is what I read in the papers.”
        Third off, One of his kid’s commented on that quote, “Yes, but he never said he believed them.”
        (PS That last is from memory. Might not be exact.)

        • “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.
          ….
          I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”

          Thomas Jefferson In a letter to John Norvell, Dated June 11, 1807

  44. You mean the man-made ‘laws’ of political science, rather than the absolute laws of physical science, control our understanding of life on this planet? – an astounding, although inexplicably delayed, discovery. Two thumbs up for Dr. Tim Ball et al, who have persevered.

  45. Hi Kip,

    I am puzzled (unless Google and Bing are intentionally ignoring the posts) why several posts I have made at Lucia’s Blackboard don’t come up on the search engines. For instance, I did this post at the Blackboard. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2016/does-hillary-clinton-have-serious-health-problems-a-real-question-not-an-accusation/#comments

    I used the exact words in the title and nothing came up on Bing or Google. I also used this phrase: “is Hillary Clinton seriously ill lucia’s blackboard”

    Would be interested in your analysis.

    JD

    • JD, I tried several variants of your search terms before cottoning on to the fact that pages at Lucia’s Blackboard never appear in the results. References to Lucia’s Blackboard appear in pages at Climate Audit, and Climate Etc., so it looks like Lucia’s Blackboard isn’t being indexed. Does Lucia ‘s html include <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX? on posts there? She might not want the additional traffic that high visibility brings. It costs. When I was blogging, I used to dread the possibility that I'd be "discovered" by slashdot and then be given a humungous bill by my web service provider. OTOH I used to love being the world's Pompousest Git according to Google.

      • Thanks very much for your input. I will ask Lucia about it. When I get an answer, I will come here and post.

        JD

    • Found some more time than I thought JD. Looking at Lucia’s html, I find:

      meta name=”keywords” content=”” /

      Normally, you will find a number of words between the quotes. On my home page: art, culture, writing, photography, photographer, organic, garden, computer, house, architect, farm, journal, diary, blog, weblog, australia, home, steel, computer, lifestyle, philosophy, owner, builder, thinking, huon, franklin, tasmania,
      That’s overkill; when I created it, I was obviously oblivious to the fact that only the first 20 words count for anything. Lucia has no words which means she doesn’t want to be indexed. It would appear that both Bing and Google are respecting Lucia’s wishes. This may not be true of other search engines because there’s no way to ensure the meta tag is respected by a web crawler.

    • You may notice that Lucia has no search box. For some reason, she strongly resists searchability, archiving – she doesn’t even have an archive of past months. And she has been able to ensure that Google doesn’t intrude.

      Read the statement bottom right on her blog.

    • Bob ==> Google has violated the trust of its supporters, those who elevated it to its current prominence (along with a great deal of anti-competitive business practices on its own..see EU rulings.

    • Definitely not possible. There is only one way of presenting an unbiased search result and that is as a randomised list. Google are reasonably open about how their listings are ordered (biased). They are also open about how to bias the result according to your needs. Using Kip’s example of searching on “climate change”, this will give you a list ordered mainly by what’s popular. Page and Brin have called this democratic because it’s based on people’s actual clicking on search results. Adding a further search term will reorder the list based on that term and can completely overwhelm the supposed bias in a search on two terms.

      Rather than reiterate what I have already written above, here’s an analysis by a legal expert:

      Searching for an Answer: Can Google Legally Manipulate Search Engine Results?
      Tansy Woan J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2013; M.A., Binghamton University, 2011; B.A., Binghamton University, 2009. The author, an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

      https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1463&context=jbl

  46. Facts: identical searches 10-15 years apart give radically different results.

    In 2018, 95%+ of all search results link to MSM drivel, as Google sells search engine rankings to the highest bidder.

    2003-2008, the internet was a good education platform as links to independent, factual websites were frequent. Not any more.

    If I know one thing it is that I know more than 98% of what MSM typists are allowed to upload.

    Until 2015, I could still locate independent blogs via search engine.

    I suspect that this is becoming harder by the day.

    Google has reduced the internet from the greatest education tool ever invented to a glorified Yellow Pages. It achieved that stupendous act of vandalism in little over a decade.

    And capitalism calls that adding value?!

    • Rhys ==> And minority views on important social, political and scientific controversies are buried under the masses of “Google-approved views” and harder and harder to find unless one knows where to look already.

      This is a dangerous attack on free speech and freed flow of ideas.

  47. Is it just me or I feel like I can’t trust Google every day more and more? I don’t know why. Maybe I’m a little too paranoid, but I have an urge to delete as much info as I can that Google, Facebook and other sites are keeping about me. I found a practical article, if someone is interested – check it out https://vpnpro.com/blog/what-does-google-know-about-me/

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