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Tech & Science Google reportedly manipulates search results to hide controversial subjects and favour big business

18:20  16 november  2019
18:20  16 november  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

Google reportedly manipulates its search results way more than it wants you to believe

  Google reportedly manipulates its search results way more than it wants you to believe Specifically, it's a report that probes all the ways the search giant manipulates the results that you see -- in ways that contradict Google's insistence that it doesn't tip.The investigation was published by The Wall Street Journal and based on more than 100 interviews, as well as what the Journal said was its own testing of Google Search. The findings are likely to provide more ammunition for critics such as those on the right who believe the company lets left-leaning political bias influence its search results, as well as small businesses that don’t rank as highly as companies like eBay and Amazon.

Google is reportedly manipulating Google Search results in favor of big business , according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. In another example cited in the Journal's report, autocomplete search results for sensitive subjects were replaced with safer results than those found on

Google accused of manipulating Search to favor big business , skirt controversy . Allegedly, the company employs methods to enable Google Search manipulation which directs search results towards big businesses while masking controversial subjects .

a close up of a person: The backbone of Google is Google Search. The backbone of Google is Google Search.
  • Google is reportedly manipulating Google Search results in favour of big business, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Additionally, Google is said to manipulate auto-complete results to remove sensitive subjects - including abortion and immigration.
  • The tech giant has denied manipulating Google Search results for years, though various publications have repeatedly reported on as much.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google's ubiquitous search engine, Google Search, is the backbone of the tech giant's business.

In many ways, Google Search is the backbone of the modern internet - the way much of the web is sorted and organised and located. Given how crucial it is to daily internet use for billions of people around the world, it's a particularly ripe target for manipulation.

Google reportedly manipulates its search results way more than it wants you to believe

  Google reportedly manipulates its search results way more than it wants you to believe As an antitrust investigation led by state attorneys general expands from advertising to take a closer look at Google's search practices, which we told you about on Thursday, the results of a newspaper investigation published on Friday may add even more fuel to that fire. Specifically, it's a report that probes all the ways the search giant manipulates the results that you see -- in ways that contradict Google's insistence that it doesn't tipThe investigation was published by The Wall Street Journal and based on more than 100 interviews, as well as what the Journal said was its own testing of Google Search.

The WSJ accuses Google of manipulating search results to appease advertisers and favor big business in results over smaller ones, while suppressing controversial auto-complete suggestions and engaging in capricious blacklisting of sites.

Search results without OneBox offer much more reviews and suggestions that actually focus on the consumer. On the other hand, Google presented users with results that would have just a few Google + reviews. Many of them actually had none.

Google denies doing as much, and insists that Google Search is built on algorithms and data gleaned from use.

But a new Wall Street Journal investigation found that Google manipulated search algorithms in some worrying ways, including prioritising large businesses over smaller ones, removing autocomplete results that involve sensitive topics like immigration and abortion, and even outright blacklisting some websites.

a screenshot of a cell phone

In one such change to Google's search algorithms, the service guided search users to more prominent businesses over lesser-known ones, the Journal reported. That change reportedly helped to boost Amazon's store in search results.

In another example cited in the Journal's report, autocomplete search results for sensitive subjects were replaced with safer results than those found on competing search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

Google's search results can now help you pronounce tricky words

  Google's search results can now help you pronounce tricky words Google released a new feature that can correct your pronunciation, giving feedback as you practice. Speech-recognition and machine-learning technology help the tool understand what you're saying, and teach you how to pronounce the word. Images will also accompany nouns in search results starting today, and Google plans to expand the list. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Google on Thursday made pronouncing tricky words a little bit easier with a new feature that shows you how to pronounce a word and gives you feedback on your own pronunciation.

Because many customers find businesses on Google Search and Maps, Insights focuses on how customers use Search and. Insights data includes views, searches , and actions from both organic search results and Google Ads. Google Insights provides you different ways to understand how

Are Google search results and other search engines’ results still being manipulated ? However, there is no law that prohibits manipulating search results and Google doesn’t have to disclose how it’s search algorithms Are the Google search results biased and favouring its own companies?

Google is known for refusing to share specific details on how its search algorithms operate, which it attributes to a measure of operations logistics: If the algorithms were public, then they could be gamed, Google argues.

"Extreme transparency has historically proven to empower bad actors in a way that hurts our users and website owners who play by the rules," Google spokesperson Lara Levin told the Journal.

When reached for a response to the report, a Google spokesperson offered the following statement:

"We have been very public and transparent around the topics covered in this article, such as our Search rater guidelines, our policies for special features in Search like Autocomplete and valid legal removals, our work to combat misinformation through Project Owl, and the fact that the changes we make to Search are aimed at benefiting users, not commercial relationships. This article contains a number of old, incomplete anecdotes, many of which not only predated our current processes and policies but also give a very inaccurate impression of how we approach building and improving Search. We take a responsible and principled approach to making changes, including a rigorous evaluation process before launching any change - something we started implementing more than a decade ago. Listening to feedback from the public is a critical part of making Search better, and we continue to welcome the feedback."

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