An article by a lawyer claiming that Google is manipulating search results has been removed from Wired

An article by a lawyer claiming that Google is manipulating search results has been removed from Wired

Adam Kovacevich

On October 2, Megan Gray published a column in Wired magazine. In the original version, the article said that the quality of Google’s search had declined because the company was replacing search results with more profitable ones. The publication was published with a note that this is the personal opinion of the author, with which Wired magazine may not agree.

This article has been retracted. At the moment, a link to the page opens a short message from Wired management explaining the situation.


Since the beginning of September, various court hearings of the antitrust lawsuit against Google have been held in the United States. The search engine and its related company have captured too large a share of the advertising market, the US Ministry of Justice believes. The proceedings are covered by specialized mass media and various volunteers who try to be present at all open hearings.

One such independent observer is Megan Gray. On October 2, she published an article in Wired, where she talked about the documentation she saw in the hearing. According to Gray’s statement, Google has deployed a mechanism to replace the user’s search queries. At the same time, the mechanism of this user is hidden. Google’s search engine allegedly changed the query itself so that more ads appeared on the search page. As a result, the quality of the search in general fell, argued Gray.

Wired publishes not only editorials, but also, with a note about it, articles from independent authors. On October 6, Wired magazine removed Gray’s article, leaving an editorial notice. According to the short text, after careful review, the article was found not to meet editorial standards and was removed.

Megan Gray is a lawyer and former employee of DuckDuckGo, a direct competitor of Google. IN personal microblog Gray did not react to the removal of the article. He even stayed in place her tweet with the announcement of the article in Wired – except that there was a community flag under it that the publication in the magazine has now been removed.

October 5 Google reacted to Gray’s article and denied the charges. Google says it’s just keyword matching technology for advertising that’s documented and not hidden from the public. The organic results technology is also described and has nothing to do with ad technology, Google says. The search engine explains that this technology is needed for cases with typographical errors or synonyms.

A possible explanation for Gray’s statements was found in the Atlantic. This article cites a Wired post and quotes a Google spokesperson vehemently denying Meghan’s claims. According to the Atlantic, Gray may have misunderstood one of the schemes in the presentation at the hearing. A representative of the search engine assures that Google does not delete queries and does not replace them with ones that are better monetized, and the advertising system does not affect organic search results.

The author of the Atlantic article also contacted Gray, who did not back down from her words. She believes Google’s search and advertising teams work together to promote revenue-generating queries. According to Gray, this statement was not disputed by Google. Megan’s words are denied by a Google representative who says that the organic search team does not receive data from the advertising department.

The Atlantic article does not draw unambiguous conclusions and reduces the conflict to the banal “it is difficult to understand”. However, the publication hints that the essence of the legal process is to confuse and explain the simple in complex language.

Finally, Adam Kovacevich [Adam Kovacevich] asked Google PR to share the problematic slide. Public relations request satisfied. [Изображение размещено до ката.]

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