Big Tech may be flexing its muscles in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow said.
Marlow made the allegation during an interview with Tucker Carlson on his show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” over at the Fox News Channel.
According to Marlow, he and the rest of the Breitbart team noticed that, since 2016, their site has experienced a steady drop in their visibility index.
“We started looking at our traffic, and gradually since the 2016 election, Google has been diminishing our search results, and then all of a sudden, in May of this year virtually, we virtually lost all Google traffic, all search traffic altogether,” Marlow said, adding that their visibility index — the indicator for a website’s visibility in Google’s search rankings — went down by 99.7 percent.
“Overall our Google traffic is down nearly two-thirds,” Marlow said.
According to Marlow stories and articles published on the Breitbart platform do not appear on Google’s search results, noting that if one wanted to search for a story from their site, they would have to type Breitbart in the search bar, along with the other keywords.
“If you want to search for Joe Biden or Biden, the chances of you getting a Breitbart article are virtually zero, Tucker. Virtually no opportunity for you to get it unless, of course, you add the word Breitbart, which explains the lack of Google traffic,” Marlow stated.
Even more troubling, Marlow added, is that Breitbart is not alone.
“Naturally, we looked at other outlets to see if there’s a pattern. Of course, we have more access to our own data, but we compared the top 50 or so top publishers, and we found that eight out of the bottom 10 when it comes to Google search are right of center outlets,” Marlow explained, noting that among those are conservative news organizations and outfits Fox News and the Daily Caller. (Related: Tucker Carlson to liberal, mainstream news: “Stop lying!”)
Carlson, who helped start the conservative news site Daily Caller back in 2010, noted that this shutdown experienced by Breitbart is an effect of the monopoly Google has on information — a monopoly that’s been allowed by Congress to go on for as long as possible.
“They are, therefore, the gateway to all human information in English. If you don’t exist on Google, you don’t exist,” Carlson said, adding that Republican Senator Mike Lee and his colleagues — whom Carlson referred to a “shills” in the interview — should be ashamed.
Marlow agreed, noting that the decline in their traffic is merely a manipulation by Big Tech and is engineered toward the latter’s desire to “control the narrative” and bring Biden the presidency.
“This is 100 percent about the 2020 election and controlling the narrative and controlling what people read,” Marlow said. “If outlets like Breitbart cannot reach new voters via Google, then that is going to be all the more people who are getting their news 100 percent from CNN, The New York Times, and the people who would do anything in their power to get Joe Biden to the White House,” he added.
Marlow, in his interview, also lamented what he said was the failure of leaders in the Republican Party to “sense the existential threat” that Big Tech companies such as Google pose to the constitutional freedoms of Americans, specifically, their freedom of speech.
“It boggles the mind because I don’t feel like the Republican Party feels the existential threat that you and I have been trying to convey to them. This is it. Freedom of speech in the United States right now is controlled by Google, controlled by Facebook, and it’s controlled by Twitter,” Marlow said.
In response to Marlow’s allegations, Google, in a statement sent to Fox News on Wednesday, noted that “there is no validity whatsoever to these allegations of political bias.”
According to the California-based tech giant, their systems “do not take political ideology into account,” and that they go to extraordinary lengths to build products that are “apolitical.”
“Anyone can easily cherry-pick a range of conservative, progressive or non-political sites that have traffic changes over time,” the statement said.
The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, however, blasted Google’s statement, noting in his appearance on Fox and Friends that he does not believe the tech giant’s claim that political bias does not exist in its website’s search function.
According to Domenech, while the Federalist has not so far been subjected to the same treatment, it is still “clear” that Google is gaming Breitbart’s statistics and that Marlow’s allegations about the tech giant are “true.”
“Looking at the situation it’s clear the data shows that what they’re claiming is true. They had a huge drop-off. I mean we’re talking about stories that they were breaking at the Daily Caller, for instance, that would get [nationwide] attention and yet they wouldn’t be on the first, second or even the third page of a search for it,” Domenech said.
Domenech, in his interview, likened this to having someone from the inside, turning a knob or pulling a switch in order to prevent sites such as Breitbart from getting any organic traffic.
“That’s something that is totally opposed to what people think that they’re getting from Google search products and I think it absolutely represents an attempt to influence the conversation during an election,” Domenech stated.
This inherent bias against conservative political content, Domenech said, is just one attribute of Google’s outsized monopoly power — albeit one which needs to be addressed if one wants to stop its negative effects on the country and its citizens.
“It needs to be addressed, I think, with updated approaches to how we do this in an era that requires it given the dramatic amount of change that these companies have affected on America,” Domenech said.