Google appeared to have removed a large number of news sites from its search pages on Tuesday morning, with Breitbart, Daily Caller, and the National Pulse all affected by the blackout.
The search engine powerhouse, which lamented President Trump’s election in 2016 and published a document entitled “The Good Censor”, was – for a period of time – not showing results for sites like The National Pulse, Breitbart, Citizen Free Press, the Daily Caller, Red State, The Bongino Report and more.
The search engine reached out to the National Pulse following publication of this story and insisted that the affects of this “technical issue” were also affecting left wing websites such as DailyKos and OccupyDemocrats.
The issue appears to have been resolved, as of 1:30pm EST.
When a Google user tried to find Breitbart.com for example, the site delivered stories about Breitbart, but not a link to the Breitbart homepage.
Conversely, when searching for the racist New York Times, Google returned a whole suite of options for the user to find the Times homepage, and also browse their sections, and search for keywords.
Google issued an update via its Twitter account which read: “We are aware of an issue with the site: command that may fail to show some or any indexed pages from a website. We are investigating this and any potentially related issues.”
Incidents such as these can seriously affect web traffic.
Search results account for around 7 percent of Breitbart’s traffic, 8 percent for The Daily Caller, and nearly 25 percent for WarRoom.org.
The news comes on the back of National Pulse editor Raheem Kassam observing a drop in conservative news sites from the platform a few days prior:
People are beginning to notice conservative news sites aren’t showing up on search engines as much.
Are you noticing that?
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 21, 2020
Mediaite reporter Charlie Nash pointed out this morning:
Just noticed Google has removed several conservative websites from search results (at least on my end, in the UK). RedState, Breitbart, Daily Caller, Human Events, and more – all like this for pages of results pic.twitter.com/v2PHFgZ3zY
— Charlie Nash (@CharlieNash) July 21, 2020
While users can still access the sites, the links no longer appear when leaked report revealed how Google intended to remove whatever they called “harmful content”.
On the run-up to a Presidential Election there can be no doubt that the almost monopolistic company is using its position to harm the re-election chances of President Donald Trump, and aid candidate Joe Biden by hiding stories skeptical of the latter from Google users.
— August Takala (@AugustTakala) July 21, 2020
As of June 2020, Google had 91.75% of market share of search engines, with Bing at 2.75%, Yahoo at 1.7%, Baidu at 1.02%, Yandex at 0.92%, and DuckDuckGo at 0.49%.
This story has been updated to reflect Google’s position.