New data released by the World Socialist Web Site seems to confirm what many had feared: the new Google search evaluation protocol is adversely affecting a broad array of leftist, whistleblower and democratic rights organizations, and anti-war news outlets. The data, collected from the search engine metric website SEMrush, shows massive drops in traffic to Wikileaks, the Intercept, the ACLU, Common Dreams, Antiwar.com, and many others.
Google’s new algorithm, implemented for the ostensible purpose of limiting the reach of “fake news” and “conspiracy theories,” has targeted anti-establishment websites seeking to challenge the disinformation and propaganda of corporate mainstream media. Facing mounting criticism from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other MSM benefactors following the 2016 presidential election, both Google and Facebook have capitulated and taken drastic measures to restrict the flow of information. Wikileaks traffic dropped by 30 percent; Democracy Now fell by 36 percent. The WSWS was the most adversely affected, as its traffic dropped by 70 percent during the same month the new algorithm went into effect.