Following the well-accepted paper A Method of Google Search Bias Quantification and Its Application in Climate Debate and General Political Discourse (WUWT, 09/08/2017), I checked the evolution of the intentional Google bias back to early 2015. The intentional Google anti-conservative bias in news & opinion has not noticeably changed since then. The intentional Google pro-alarmist bias in the climate debate has not noticeably changed since early to mid 2016. I could not get earlier data. The very low correlation between PGSTN and the popularity of the news & opinion domains in 2016 and 2015 confirms the validity of the PGSTN methodology.
Artificial Google bias, persisting over the long time, has been causing a vicious spiral: less traffic from Google search to demoted domains caused less sharing on social and traditional media and less traffic from other sources. That led even lower Google rankings, and so on. These effects further decreased Google ranking of the site, and so on. Finally, news & opinion websites artificially demoted by Google were not considered by many individuals as legitimate sources. This social component of the vicious spiral probably had a destructive social effect and significantly contributed to the political polarization of recent years.
The PGSTN methodology does not capture effects of this vicious spiral. It is impossible to quantify how much suppression the conservative speech suffered because of intentional Google bias.
While unrelated to the subject of the research, a surprising finding was made — a sharp drop in the relative popularity of the former liberal MSM sites since March 2016:
|Domain||US Rank 2016||US Rank||“popularity”||“popularity” change|
Lower rank is better. Only the CNBC domain improved its popularity. On average, the center and right-of-center news and opinions sites in this research saw some popularity decrease, too, but nowhere near to the left/liberal MSM sites, especially those of the TV networks and The NY Times. I have some late lessons for them, especially:
NY Times – Lies do not pay.
CNN – The voters (and even your viewers) are not so stupid, after all.
Attached is the supporting material – spreadsheet PGSTN-Domains-Expanded.xlsx.