Google is leaving the roots that made it a success-- using bottom-up algorithms that based search results on the behaviors of millions of people.
Google has been changing its search criteria so it favors top-down mainstream media, while hurting alternative media Under the guise of addressing the problems with "fake news," Google has used it's almost monopoly search engine position to decimate search results for bottom-up, grassroots alternative media. I don't have evidence to prove it, but I believe that this is exactly what the biggest mainstream media want-- to take out their bottom-up competition.
What would a Google attack on a website look like? Because Google is a search engine, an attack would deprecate the search result rank of a website. Google doesn't attack websites or people directly. They do it by modifying their algorithms. That means they change the weighting of factors that they consider in ranking a site. Google uses hundreds of different factors to assess site rank. Factors include number of links in to the site from other sites, security of the site (Https sites are favored over http sites, for example,) freshness of content, number of visitors to the site, to name a few
Imagine that a website had search results that put it at the top of the first page results. Deprecation would put it at the bottom of the first page or on the second, third or even 20th page.
I know because I've been following, for at least ten years, some of the key words for the website I founded and operate, OpEdNews.com. For many years OpEdNews was at the top of the first page search results, ranging from first to third place for the key words Progressive Opinion, Liberal Opinion and Liberal News.
Though our site traffic had not dropped by much, gradually, Google's algorithm moved us down to the bottom of the first result page and then often the front page altogether, and then off the the second page. By then our traffic was being hurt.
This past week Google confirmed that it had again tweaked its search algorithm. So I, as I've done many times, I checked out the keywords I listed above. The results were clear. Not only was OpEdNews further down in page rank, but so were many other progressive news and opinion sites. The top ranks were replaced by big mainstream media, what many in the alternative media consider to be fake liberal, fake progressive. These include New York Times and the networks, even FOX. Then there's a Linkedin page for a group-- that has two followers, and there a number of aggregators who have lists of liberal or progressive sites. Even such aggregation is top down.
This latest Google attack by algorithm is bad for all alternative media, is bad for what Antonio Lopez calls the media ecosystem. But it may also be bad for Google, which earned its almost monopoly status by smartly tapping the wisdom of the crowd. The reality is that when people tap the power of bottom-up they can sometimes achieve top-down status. After all, understanding the bottom-up aspects of people's behavior and the role in business can lead to great wealth and power.
In the hero's journey myth, the person on the journey fails to become a hero if he or she gets stuck on the road, dazzled by the new power he or she achieves. Google is at such a turning point. It used to have a policy-- "Do no evil." As a mega-billion dollar organization, the challenge to not do evil has become more complex. Now, Google has to be sure that evil is not allowed to seep into its algorithms.