[Editor’s note: Read the GLP’s profile on Natural News founder Mike Adams. Also: FBI turns up heat on Mike Adams as ‘Health Ranger’ fiasco widens, plus Adams’ archive.]
Natural News is an objectively low quality site from the perspective of the academic and scientific quality of the information it provides. If someone is searching for medical information, Google may determine that they will best serve their customers by providing legitimate medical information from trusted sources, rather than popular misinformation. …
There are many technical reasons why they would have delisted Natural News. Perhaps the site was aggressively using SEO and the most effective countermeasure was to simply delist the entire domain. They may simply have felt that it was the most effective way to improve the quality of Google searches for medical information.
The other perspective views Google more like a utility. While they are not a government site (and therefore no first amendment issues), Google is by far the most popular portal to the web, which is now an invaluable general resource. Private utility companies are regulated by the government (or in some countries even nationalized) because they provide an essential service to the public. If Google is viewed as an essential utility, you can argue that they should not discriminate in this way.
There is also the slippery slope argument. If Google uses their own assessment of quality to delist entire domains from their organic searches, ideological bias can slip into their quality assessments. Some would rather deal with low quality sites coming up in their searches rather than have Google scrub the searches for them, and therefore be subject to the ideological biases of a private company not subject to any oversight.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Natural News Delisted from Google