Google’s global warming search bias

The rumor that Google has tuned its search algorithm to work against the skeptics of climate change alarmism appears to be true. Searches on prominent skeptics systematically yield more negative attacks than positive information. This cannot be an accident. It may well be illegal, given Google’s deep financial interest in alarmism.

It all started when I did a Google search on myself. This is not something that I usually do, but I was dealing with some new people and I figured they might look me up, so I looked to see what they would see. What I found was startlingly negative.

It is said that when people are looking for introductory information the first Google results page is all that counts, so let’s stick with that. My first page has 10 items on it. The very first item is an attack piece from something strangely called DeSmogBlog. This is basically a Canadian public relations outfit that does little except attack skeptics of climate change alarmism. It turns out that Google loves DeSmogBlog.

You would think that the billion dollar Google search algorithm would look for the most recent information, but the DeSmog piece looks to be from 2012. Moreover, the third, fifth, seventh and tenth items are also all attack pieces, two of which are actually dated in 2012. So Google had to go back almost 6 years, in order to lard my first page with half of the items being personal attacks. Clearly this is not accidental.

Of the remaining five items, two are without substantive content, they being my twitter account and a white pages entry. So there are just 3 out of 10 that actually direct people to my work. One of those (the fifth) is to articles I wrote for the Society for Scholarly Publishing, a gig that ended in 2014, so is hardly current.

The second item on the page is almost current, it being to my policy advisory role at the Heartland Institute, which page includes several of last years articles. The truly current item is way down the page at ninth. This is a link to my author page here at CFACT, which includes all of my recent articles.

So this is a dismal showing on Google’s part, unless their goal is to discredit me in the eyes of their fellow alarmists. This they do pretty well, even if they have to go back six years to do it. So my hypothesis is that they do the discrediting deliberately.

To test this hypothesis I did some Google searches on truly prominent skeptics. Guess what? I got the same pattern of negative results, which always includes a hit from DeSmogBlog. Here are some examples:

Roy Spencer gets 7 out of 10 items attacking him, including one from DeSmogBlog in fourth slot. He beat my 5 out of 10 pretty handily. Go Roy!

Will Happer ties with me, with 5 out of 10 attack pieces, but one of his attacks is from the Washington Post, which gives him an edge in prestige points. His DeSmogBlog attack is second on the page list. (Mine was first, so there, but Paul Driessen and Craig Rucker each also get their DeSmogBlog hit as the first entry.)

Richard Lindzen also gets 5 out of 10 Google items attacking him. Two of these are from British newspapers (one dated 2014) so he may hold the international lead at this point. His DeSmogBlog hit is fifth on his list.

CFACT’s own Marc Morano gets 6 attack pieces, but his list is also longer at 12 items. His DeSmogBlog hit is fourth. But one of his hits is the 2012 award –“Climate Change Misinformer Of The Year: Marc Morano” — from an alarmist group, so lots of prestige points here.

Pat Michaels also gets 5 attacks out of 10 items, with a DeSmogBlog hit in fourth slot. Perhaps this is Google’s idea of balance, that every search on a person should include a lot of attack pieces. No, I did a search on Jennifer Aniston (remember I am old) and there was nothing negative on the first page.

The pattern is obvious — attack the skeptics of climate change alarmism. The ever present use of the wacko DeSmogBlog attacks, usually in the top 5 items and often first or second, is actually pretty funny. But it is also telling, as is the going back many years to pick up attack pieces, while the informational pieces are far more recent. This pattern cannot be accidental; the algorithm is clearly tuned to discredit skeptics of climate change alarmism.

The interesting question is this illegal? After all Google boasts that it has billions of dollars invested in renewable energy. Skepticism of alarmism probably threatens those investments. Deliberately discrediting people in order to protect or enhance your business interests sounds illegal to me. Maybe there is even a class action suit in this.

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About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

14 Comments
  1. Jack Miller

    I’ve noticed that too, but could it be due to the large amount of negative feedback that is getting picked up?

      • Dale

        David: I have been using DuckDuckGo for a few months now and have been generally pleased with the results. Just now I did a search for your name and of the numerous suggestions which came up, many were neutral with some sounding rather positive.
        Maybe it’s time for a change and to let Googly know why.
        FWIW

      • Dale

        As a follow up to this, I just wrote to Google now and asked why the bias and support for DeSmogBlog, a blog run by a public relations man (James Hogan) and funded by a convicted money launderer John Lefebvre.

  2. My business is search engine optimization (SEO) and it is very likely that the results are skewed simply because of the way Google works these days. I’ve not seen situations where Google selects specific industries or topics for a change in how it ranks results. That said, my guess is that for many target search phrases without significant competition for placement, we would be able to influence the results to get the one or two at the top of the rankings that are favourable to the ‘realist’ (as opposed to ‘alarmist’) perspective. It may take a while (6 to 8 months of consistent effort) but my guess is that it can be done. Send me a text at 416-823-6095 if you’d like to try an experiment (n/c) to see what can be done. In my view, it would be an interesting exercise.

  3. Robert

    My search results:
    Day 13 of the Doodle Snow Games!

    david wojick

    David Wojick | DeSmogBlog
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    Feb 5, 2018 · David E. Wojick. … He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis. Wojick was a “scientific advisor” for a now-defunct Greening Earth Society, a group created by the Western Fuels Association, a large US coal industry …

    Who We Are – David Wojick | Heartland Institute
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    David Wojick is a former consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. He has a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science and mathematical …

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    Jun 26, 2017 · David E. Wojick is a well-known and vocal climate change “skeptic”, with strong links to the coal industry and a now-defunct coal industry front group called the Greening Earth Society. [1] …
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    Peer-reviewed skeptic papers by David Wojick. This page lists any peer- reviewed papers by David Wojick that take a negative or explicitly doubtful position on human-caused global warming. There are no peer-reviewed climate papers by …

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    David Wojick works part time as the Senior Consultant for Innovation at OSTI, the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, in the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy. He has a PhD in logic and philosophy of science, an MA in …

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    Thursday, February 8, 2018 David Wojick. Biographical Sketch. Dr. David E. Wojick 391 Flickertail Lane, Star Tannery VA 22654 [email protected]. Education: Ph.D., Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1972 .

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    The latest Tweets from David Wojick (@DavidWojick). Consultant on complex issues in science, technology and public policy. Research on understanding complex issues. West Virginia, USA.

    David Wojick, Ph.D. – cfact
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    The international climate machine is about to achieve a new degree of alarmist absurdity, basically speeding up as they hit the wall. It is all about the Paris Climate Agreement targets and it is kind of fun to watch.

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  4. Mr. Manfredgensenden

    ‘Global warming’ was dredged up again by Al Gore in order to sell ‘carbon credits’ to factory owners from a company Al owned most of the stock in.

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