Google, Glenn Beck, and AP: Are Results Being Squashed?
So some of you may have heard that Glenn Beck has managed to upset advertisers by calling President Obama a racist. I don’t have much to say about Beck. I was more interested in the advertiser reaction. I saw the article on Yahoo! but wanted a more stable URL. So I copied the AP news story title and pasted into the Google. Here are the results.
Notice how the results indicate that there are “365 related articles”? Usually I click that and indeed see a rack of articles. Today, however, this is what happened when I clicked on the link promising a cornucopia of news stories:
Just one result! And it is only to AP page hosted by Google! (not sure whether Google is hosting all or most AP content, but it looks fishy). Maybe everyone was just running the AP story, but maybe those other outlets would have had more information of interest. Could it be that AP and Google are somehow in bed with each other on these results. (For all I know that is the case, and I missed that memo as I have been getting an article out the door and cleaning up a book chapter). Is this all part of AP’s claims regarding the ability to control its copy?
In short, watch the Google. It is creepy at times.
UPDATE: A quick commenter noted that the right side has a link that shows all the results “Sort by date with duplicates included.” THANKS!
I did not see that. Still I seem to recall that the related articles page used to have many of the redundant results. So the new approach could be helpful and efficient, but I wonder whether this new streamlined version of results applies to all news or just AP.
Furthermore, I throw open the idea that people may prefer the redundancies at the outset. That way they can go (as I did when I was on the web results page) to a source such as ABC or some other source one may trust or that one hoped would provide more than the AP coverage (be it vitriol over the boycott or praise for it).