There were a few tweets today hinting at a conspiracy theory around Google news and Cash4gold. I think we can probably relax – there is no cover up. Update: @charlesarthur says he wasn’t hinting at a conspiracy theory. Oh my god, I’ve invented a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theory.
If you type Cash4gold into news.google.co.uk, you get this set of results.
If you search for cash4gold uk, you get a different set of results – the stories about criticisms of cash4gold and its court case are missing, apart from one from a UK site.
I don’t think this is a conspiracy though. This is just google news deciding that, as you typed in UK as part of your search term, you probably wanted stories relevant to the UK – so a story about a predominantly US brand having legal problems in the USA isn’t that relevant to the UK.
Check out the google guide to news rankings – about 7 minutes in … They talk about how they attempt to match local stories when relevant. And look at the sites that go missing when you add UK to your search term: CBS Moneywatch, Reuters in the US, the USA-based consumerist site.
You can see a similar affect if you search for the UK’s fake-blood rugby scandal using the term Dean Richards. Search for Dean Richards USA instead and most of the stories vanish – no surprise really.
To me this seems a perfectly sensible set of results. What do you think?
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