Saturday, October 7, 2023

Wired withdrew the article claiming Google was altering searches to insert unwanted commercial results

The note, which does not link to a cached version of the article, says in its entirety: 

EDITOR’S NOTE 10/6/2023: After careful review of the op-ed, "How Google Alters Search Queries to Get at Your Wallet," and relevant material provided to us following its publication, WIRED editorial leadership has determined that the story does not meet our editorial standards. It has been removed.

Here's one write up of the article from a few days ago that reprinted the claims in the article (even though it noted it was written by someone who worked as general counsel at DuckDuckGo).

Two threads that go into a little more detail on clues the Wired article didn't seem reliable.

(FWIW, my experience is that Google consistently returns very good results to my queries, although the sites it directs me to tend to be overloaded with advertising and frustrating formatting. Wirecutter, on the other hand, is a site that's become so much worse that I regularly seek out alternative recommendations. I remember an interview with Brian Lam, maybe this one, where he said running a recommendation site required a special formula about knowing what to review and when to update.)