Google News continues bias against independent media

This is by no means a new complaint, but if you want to give a non-sinister explanation, then the idea that Google is too poor to build its search capability has to be one of them. And that it’s been poor for the good part of a decade.

More sinister is the idea that all that money they make doesn’t go into the infrastructure. They’d rather make it by funding misinformation for the sake of their advertising business.

Once again, Lucire was first with the details of last night’s winners at the World of Wearable Art show.

Unlike some of our competitors, our story wasn’t based solely on the press release, but from fashion editor Sopheak Seng and I updating the article based on what we witnessed as the show progressed. It’s why you see facts in ours that you don’t see in The Post, for instance. (For the sake of clarity, this isn’t us dissing The Post, incidentally, since we’ve done stories where we had to rely on other sources. Every media outlet has.)

A decade or more ago, Google News would have given us pride of place for a search for the event’s details.

During the 2010s, it switched to favouring corporate mainstream media ahead of independent media, even if independent media broke the story. That’s a shift to an uneven playing field that I cannot agree with: if the web is meritorious, if everyone can have a go at journalism, then the credit must go to the originator, especially if the originator is credible (though it seems no one actually vets sources at Google News any more). Once upon a time Google was fair but that hasn’t been the case for a long, long time.

Google claims now it had The Post’s article 17 hours ago (at the time of writing) and ours 16 hours ago, when I know that to be untrue.
Google results

I know this because Google managed to include an article about the Lotus Emeya that one of my team filed on the 21st—but I only made it live about an hour after the WOW piece (though it bears the earlier date of filing).

Google News picked this up instantly.
Google results

If Google News is in any serviceable form then we know they knew about our WOW article before then.

On Mojeek, we’re second after TVNZ’s piece, but because it also looks at the incidences of terms within the articles, I can understand why we might not get top placing.

Google continues to falter and acts just like a service starved of funds. Except they can’t be, right?
Speaking of Google, I always thought was independent, but running a site: search, I find that it’s basically Google, with all of Google’s failings (e.g. in Lucire’s case, an inability to rank dynamic pages well, preferring static ones). Poor Google, if only it had kept up with technological changes.
Finally, it’s sad to note that as a result of no longer sending the headlines from here to OnlyKlans (via, traffic has dropped further. Interestingly, when I stopped sending them to Facebook, it made no difference. Which goes to show just how terrible Facebook’s algorithm was at sharing things to people who might have wanted to keep abreast of what’s on this blog. In both cases, it’s confirmation that RSS was so much better than social media at keeping us updated.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *