Wired: Google Bombs Are Our New Normal. “Manipulating search results today seems more like an invasion than a joke. As the October 1 massacre in Las Vegas unfolded, Google displayed ‘news’ results from rumor mills like 4Chan, and Facebook promulgated rumors and conspiracy theories, sullying the service on which, according to Pew Research, 45 percent of American adults get their news. Meanwhile, the rapid-fire nature of Twitter led users to pass along false information about missing people in the aftermath. All of these cases signify the central place a number of digital services have staked out in our lives. ”
Gizmodo: Google Swears It Didn’t Nerf Giphy In Search After Exec Bragged ‘We Own Happy Birthday Now’. “On October 3rd, the founders of the GIF search engine Giphy were riding high. A cover story in Fast Company chronicled the company’s rise to power and execs were spouting off about their dominance. One claimed that Giphy’s hold on search results is so strong ‘we own happy birthday now.’ The next day, the company’s search traffic fell off a cliff.”
Search Engine Roundtable: Google Says They Are Not Done Announcing Future Algorithms. “Early on, Google simply did 30 day Google Dances, so it was clear when Google did an update. After that we had updates like Florida and many others that Google did not confirm or talk much about, but we knew there were major changes. Then Matt Cutts at Google shared very specific details on updates around Panda, Penguin, EMDs, and many others. In fact, he would give us the percentage of change Google noticed in the search results around them. Now we are back to a point where the only changes Google is communicating are major indexing issues, like the mobile first index and such.”
The Atlantic: Google and Facebook Failed Us. “In the crucial early hours after the Las Vegas mass shooting, it happened again: Hoaxes, completely unverified rumors, failed witch hunts, and blatant falsehoods spread across the internet. But they did not do so by themselves: They used the infrastructure that Google and Facebook and YouTube have built to achieve wide distribution. “
Search Engine Land: The trouble with ‘Fred’ . “Right now, the Google spokespeople who primarily communicate with SEOs/webmasters are Gary Illyes and John Mueller. This is not a critique of them, as they communicate in the way Google has asked them to communicate. Indeed, they have been very helpful over the past few years. Mueller holds Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangouts to help answer questions in long form. Illyes answers similar questions in short form on Twitter and attends conferences, where he participates in various AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions with interviewers. All this is helpful and appreciated… but unfortunately, it is not the same.” Spot. On.
New York Times: As Google Fights Fake News, Voices on the Margins Raise Alarm. “When David North, the editorial chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, noticed a drop in the site’s traffic in April, he initially chalked it up to news fatigue over President Trump or a shift in political consciousness. But when he dug into the numbers, Mr. North said, he found a clearer explanation: Google had stopped redirecting search queries to the site. He discovered that the top search terms that once brought people to the World Socialist Web Site were now coming up empty.”
Ottawa Citizen: Google is linking secret, court-protected names – including victim IDs – to online coverage. “Google’s powerful search engine is defeating some court-ordered publication bans in Canada and undermining efforts to protect young offenders and victims. Computer experts believe it’s an unintended, ‘mind-boggling’ consequence of Google search algorithms.” Please read the entire story. It’s a bit terrifying.