Published February 25, 2017
The blatant, outrageous censorship of the entire NaturalNews.com website (root domain and subdomains) from Google has the internet in an uproar. Already, nearly 40,000 people have signed this White House petition to halt Google’s suppression of free speech. (We need 100K signatures, keep signing and sharing!)
Even the SEO community is in an uproar, as numerous SEO experts have exhaustively analyzed NaturalNews.com source code, backlinks, domain authority, content and more… and nobody can find any legitimate reason why Google would ban the Natural Newssite.
As we’ve already reported, Google is now citing an obscure rule against competing third party advertising which was placed onto a grand total of 13 old blog pages (from 2013 – 2014) under the blogs subdomain by an individual blogger. This ad code was put there by the blogger because Google banned Adsense from the blogs.naturalnews.com subdomain. Google then used the appearance of competing ad code on those 13 old pages as a twisted justification to ban the entire root domain of NaturalNews.com from its search index.
And yet it was all a farce. A Natural News investigation found the exact same “offending” third party ad code on a blog running on the Google-owned Blogspot.com network. Yet, predictably, Google has not blacklisted the entire Blogpost.com domain from its search results.
It’s now becoming obvious to everyone — including SEO experts and even critics of Natural News content who are now defending our right to engage in public debate — that Google was scouring the Natural News website and all its domains to look for an excuse to blacklist the entire site.
This is further evidenced by the fact that the “offending” third party code was entirely removed from those offending blog pages more than 24 hours ago, yet Google has not lifted the ban even though they promised to.
As one SEO analyst stated about Google’s practices in a Google forums thread, “You destroy businesses, people, families, and you don’t care. This is pure Evil and monopoly, nothing else.”
Google openly allows outbound links violations in HuffPo, BuzzFeed, Forbes, CNN and more
Now, in yet more astonishing news about Google’s brazen dishonesty and unfair, monopolistic practices, we’ve found that outbound links (OBL) are being sold on the open market by writers who are collecting many to place those links on sites like Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Forbes, CNN and many more. (See screen shots and links below.)
According to Google, this practice is a violation of webmaster guidelines, yet Google would never even dream of taking those websites completely offline.
It’s clear that Google is exerting its monopoly power to silence Natural News through selective enforcement while ignoring clear violations of webmaster guidelines that exist across many other popular sites which are “exempt” from Google’s rules.
This sort of selective enforcement and human-decided censorship is precisely the definition of tyranny on the ‘net. By invoking this “evil” power against Natural News, Google has now demonstrated to the entire world that it is unjust, unfair and clearly biased against Natural News for political reasons.
The most obvious reason is that Natural News was a very vocal supporter of Donald Trump for President. This is not a debate about politics right now, and I realize many Americans hate Donald Trump, but surely we can all agree that a website should have to right to express political support for the candidate of their choosing without being punitively censored by the world’s largest search engine whose executives almost universally supported the other candidate.
The “outbound links” issue… yet more proof of Google’s selective enforcement
Separate from blacklisting the entire NaturalNews.com root domain, Google also delisted the blogs subdomain (blogs.naturalnews.com), citing “outbound links” as an issue.
Sure enough, we found 1-2 bloggers who were offering outbound links for sale, where someone would pay them to create content that they would post under the blogs subdomain. This practice is, of course, disallowed by Natural News, and it’s not something we have ever endorsed, pursued or offered for sale. To immediately resolve the issue, we added rel=”nofollow” to all outbound links from content on our blogs subdomain. (You can confirm this by viewing current source code vs. cached source code from a few days ago.)
Yet Google has still not lifted the blacklisting of Natural News. At the same time, Google openly allows other publishers such as CNN, HuffPo, BuzzFeed and Forbes to engage in this practice with apparent immunity.
Check out the following links and screen shots for proof that Google allows outbound links violations across numerous popular website, refusing to the same action against them that they took against Natural News for a different obscure “violation” on a tiny number of old pages from a blogs subdomain: (h/t to “Josh” on the Google forums thread)
Huffington Post outbound links for sale
Mashable outbound links for sale
Forbes, Lifehack, Mashable, Tech Crunch, Morningstar, Entrepreneur outbound links for sale
And yet, to no one’s surprise, Google has not blacklisted any of these news publishers.
It’s yet more proof that Google has selectively enforced its guidelines against Natural News, singling out Natural News for severe punishment (total censorship) for minor technical issues put in place by bloggers on a subdomain, not employees or in-house writers of Natural News.
This is why the internet is in such an uproar over this blacklisting by Google. It shows, without question, that Google can silence any website it wishes to “memory hole” by merely flipping a switch while providing almost any excuse it wants to dig up from old pages buried in a subdomain that don’t even receive any significant traffic at all.
Serious questions we should all be asking about Google’s censorship of Natural News
If Google really had a problem with 13 pages on blogs.naturalnews.com, why didn’t Google just ban those 13 pages?
Why didn’t Google tell Natural News which URLs it claimed were “violating webmaster guidelines?”
Why wasn’t Natural News warned in advance of being blacklisted and given an opportunity to address the issues Google didn’t like?
Why was a site-wide ban selectively applied to Natural News when it’s apparently never applied to other large publishers such as HuffPo, CNN and Mashable?
Why has Google still not restored NaturalNews.com search indexing more than 24 hours after the issues it didn’t like were resolved?
Why is Google now waging a public relations war with Natural News by releasing dishonest information claiming they banned Natural News solely because of “webmaster guidelines” violations when it’s clearly much more than that?
How can anyone trust Google search results at this point, knowing that Google may eliminate “undesirable” domains at any time, for almost any reason it wants, without warning and without notice?