Google No Longer Claims Completely Organic Results

Last month, Google changed their censorship policy after launching their censored Google.cn service in China. Now it seems Google has changed its “core principles” regarding providing only organic search results.

Previously Google’s Principles included this statement:

The order and contents of Google search results are completely automated. No one hand picks a particular result for a given search query, nor does Google ever insert jokes or send messages by changing the order of results. Occasionally, when a particular website is the subject of public attention, other sites begin linking to it. This may elevate its importance as gauged by our ranking software, which assigns a PageRank value based in part on who links to a given page. Higher ranking in Google results may lead to more awareness, which may lead to more links and so on.

But if you look at that page now, it has the headline, “Does Google ever insert jokes or send messages by changing the order of its results?” with this answer:

No. Occasionally, when a particular website is the subject of public attention, other sites begin linking to it. This may elevate its importance as gauged by our ranking software, which assigns a PageRank value based in part on who links to a given page. Higher ranking in Google results may lead to more awareness, which may lead to more links, and so on.

Notice what is missing: “The order and contents of Google search results are completely automated. No one hand picks a particular result for a given search query.”

It is amazing how easily one’s core principles can change.

[via Search Engine Journal]

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