New data from the search consultants at Sistrix indicate that online search giant Google may be intentionally burying search results for major conservative news websites to prevent the public from finding and reading them.
Sistrix tracks millions of various search keywords and ranks the number of “hits” a site receives in across all those terms. Conservative site Breitbart, in particular, has seen dramatic decreases in visibility on Google that began in 2017. By last year, Breitbart’s Google search visibility ranked near zero.
If a user types in the name “Breitbart” into the Google search engine, the site appears. But when searching news topics in general, the engine returns no Breitbart stories, even if the site has written on the topic. Even when searching for specific Breitbart writers, users have to scroll through pages of returns before finding Breitbart stories.
Another conservative news site, The Daily Caller, was found to be in a similar situation.
Though Google has not responded to the findings from Sistrix, the data have been corroborated by a leaked internal exchange between Google officials following Presidents Trump’s 2016 electoral victory.
In that exchange, Google engineer Scott Byer complains that Google participated in “false equivalencies” in 2016, allowing conservative news sites to be promoted equally alongside “legitimate news organizations.” Byer is clear in his view that phenomenon “can and should be fixed.”