Does Google’s Search Algorithm Protect the New York Times?

Does Google’s Search Algorithm Protect the New York Times?

Yesterday morning, after reading the Sunday New York Times, I posted two pieces on EconoSpeak within a few minutes of each other.  One was a short, cute little item (a visual grab from the paper) entitled “The Art of Juxtaposition”; the other was a longer, more substantial takedown of a deficit hysteria “analysis” I called “The Usual Deficit Blather from the New York Times”.

As usual, I monitored the posts through the day to see if they were being picked up anywhere.  This has become largely an exercise in nostalgia, since with the fading of the economics blogosphere there isn’t much to track.  What happened next was interesting, however.

Before long, Google had indexed “The Art of Juxtaposition” and returned it on my search, but the “Blather” piece was nowhere to be found.  Curious.  Then this morning I awoke to discover that Angry Bear had reposted “Blather” but not “Juxtaposition”.  That’s fine, since the one they used actually has some content.  But now, when I go back to Google search, “Blather” turns up from Angry Bear but still not EconoSpeak.

What I suspect is that, in a misguided attempt to slow the spread of fake news, Google’s algorithm blocks criticism of the Times and other “reputable” media unless it issues from sites with sufficiently high traffic.  Angry Bear made the cut but not EconoSpeak.

This is just a hypothesis, and I’m not invested in it.  I’d be happy to hear some other explanation—have one?


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