WSWS, a socialist site, is quite sure Google is censoring it and other leftie sites. Infowars, which is on the hard right, says Google is doing the same to them. Deranged nutcase site Natural News was delisted by Google, and predictably blamed those bastards at Mountain View who are trying to kill political dissent. We should be morally outraged, they yell. They generally think the censorship is only happening to those with their politics and not to websites with opposing views. Well, I like a good conspiracy as much as anyone, however these cries of censorship are dumb. The problem isn’t with Google, it’s with the sites themselves.
Natural News was delisted because of webmaster violations, specifically “sneaky mobile redirects.” Google notified Natural News, who did nothing until their site was delisted. Once Natural News stopped their black hat SEO, the site was listed again. It had nothing to do with political content.
Google changes their algorithms periodically and webmasters need to keep up with the changes. It also really helps if sites pay attention to basic SEO principles like quality incoming links, meaningful H1 descriptions, no duplicate content, and using social media to drive traffic.
Facebook and Google are trying to cut down on linking to low-quality fake news. This is a good thing. A garbage sites like Natural News may need to worry about this. Infowars and WSWS don’t. Readers may disagree with their content however Google is not blocking them.
When Google updates their search algorithms, some sites get ranked higher and some lower. This happens all the time. Webmasters need to be paying attention. If you have quality content, do a few simple SEO things, and don’t duplicate content, Google will rank you fine.
Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
Don’t deceive your users.
Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.