How Google educated me

19 02 2013

Google has given me a couple of very useful lessons. Thanks to the Lord of the Internet, I’ve understood the Christian world much more adequately. At least, I hope so. ☺

In fact, I’m still an arduous follower of Google. I use many of its services, such as Gmail, Analytics, Writer, etc.

I must admit that for many years Google was the only search service I used to rely on. It looked so natural. Everybody knew that Google was best. Occasionally, I could even say: ‘let’s google the Net!’. ☺

Politically sensitive article suddenly disappeared from Google search results

But one day in the summer of 2012, I noticed that one of my articles had completely disappeared from the Google search. ☼ It wasn’t an ordinary article because it dealt with the events of the 13th of January 1991 in Vilnius.

On that day, to be more precise, on that night, the Soviet special troops attacked the TV broadcasting tower in Vilnius, which resulted in the death of (allegedly) 14 civilians. There are two competing versions that explain the principal events of that night in opposite ways.

According to the official version, the Soviet killers just ran with tanks through the crowds, shot at the armless people and ruthlessly killed many of them.

My article was considering the probability that the proponents of the other version could be right, who state that the leaders of the then Government of Lithuania, probably on the advice of some US special services, had rigged the massacre, so that later they could blame the Soviet Government on the deaths of armless Lithuanians for various political purposes.

The subject is vital for the legitimacy of the current political regime in Lithuania because many Lithuanians despise the regime that has already deprived them of many basic rights and, in just 23 years of its existence, has already forced to emigrate about A QUARTER of the impoverished nation.

Algirdas Paleckis
Algirdas Paleckis

In my opinion, such fierce persecution of Algirdas only proves his rightness. ☺

A special law is issued to frighten the witnesses out of testifying anything that does not correspond to the official version. Algirdas Paleckis (an idealist who once sacrificed his promising political career by naively trying to resist corruption) has already got a criminal sentence for saying his opinion on the TV. A witness has been charged recently for something like telling the court she didn’t see the Soviet soldiers shooting at the crowd or so.

On the other hand, the problem is also important from the historical point of view. Did the Soviet Union collapse naturally or was it an ordinary bloody setup by the CIA or another similar agency?

In that article of mine (I haven’t translated it to English yet, but you can always use the Google translation service ☺), I defended Paleckis, who presented solid arguments that the then leaders of Lithuania could even have ordered their armed forces to shoot at the armless crowds they themselves had called in order to have politically convenient civil casualties.

So, I was expecting to face sanctions, even a detention seemed probable in such a country as the Republic of Lithuania, not to speak about a search in my place or confiscating my computer by the police. ☺

By then I had already read a couple of articles about the censorship of the Internet that Google carries out on the requests by many governments and their agencies, so the disappearing of an article on such a sensitive subject didn’t surprise me too much.

Many other of my articles had been downgraded by Google search

I quickly checked the positioning of my sites in the Google search and found out that some of my other articles had been substantially downgraded. As most of my texts had used to be placed on the first results pages for many popular keywords in Lithuanian, I was really upset.

Then I registered to one of the Google forums, and they assured me that all the problems with my site were due to its technical flaw they call „soft 404 errors“.

At first, I was shocked. How was it possible? I had written all my sites myself, having thoroughly read a few books on SEO and always paid special attention to what was considered illegal according to the ethical codes of the Internet.

Anyway, I rewrote certain scripts on my site, and most of my articles rapidly regained their positions in the Google rankings.

Still unclear what actually happened to my politically sensitive article

However, downgrading wasn’t the case with my above-mentioned article dealing with the interpretation of the events on the 13th of January 1991 in Vilnius. It had disappeared from the Google search completely.

You could enter its exact title into the search form and you were shown an empty page. That means it was completely removed from the Google search then.

I don‘t know what exactly had happened, but I’m pretty sure that it was Google’s reaction to some kind of request from somebody somehow related to the Government of Lithuania. I have no proof of it though. ☺

The article reappeared in the Google search results only after my second appeal through the Google forums – by then, I was already mulling over the idea of writing a serious article on the censorship of the Internet and sending it to some Google’s rivals. ☺

It still continues, but it doesn‘t bother me anymore

Recently I have noticed that many of my articles are heavily downgraded in the Google search anew. I checked with my Google account and found out that Google had discovered something inappropriate with my site again.

I felt badly humiliated. I had registered at various Google’s services, such as its ’Webmaster tools“, forums, etc. I had rearranged a considerable part of my Internet site. It wasn’t enough, however.

I’m absolute dilettante at programming, it’s my hobby, nothing else. Anyway, I felt completely fed up with Google’s lessons about what’s ‘correct’ for my sites and what’s not, and I decided to give up all my ambitions to maintain high rankings in the Google search.

I’m grateful to Google for its lesson

Nonetheless, all my troubles with the rankings, downgrades, etc. taught me a lesson I appreciate indeed. I did realise how at least most of the searches, services, news agencies, etc. actually function on the Internet.

Google search results
Google search page

It used to be the ultimate authority on any matter. ☼

I used to believe that Internet search services tried to provide us with the most adequate information possible. I thought that they worked hard to create algorithms that would decide with maximum objectivity which information is most relevant.

My experience with Google showed me how wrong I was. Google doesn’t even try to gather the most valuable and diversified contents of the Internet. It tries to force programmers to build sites that would be most convenient for Google instead.

So, when I search the Net with Google, I never see the most relevant CONTENTS. I see the links to the sites that humbly follow Google’s prescriptions, at least in their FORM.

It’s no secret that Google earns billions by selling high places on its search results pages. It is widely known that Google does censor its search results when that is requested by governments, ministries, special services, etc.

Now, it’s clear that Google removes from its search results the sites that do not obey its orders, at least concerning their construction and functioning. Actually,, the most popular news portal in Lithuania, is also taken off from the Google search.

What’s left then? It seems to me now that when I search the Net with Google, I get just what has most sense added by it. The best paid advertisements, politically and morally correct ideas, neatly built sites sponsored by the Government. And the long lists of Youtube links of course ☺.

I must recognise, it is very comfortable because you don’t need to mess through the search results – just read one article, and you will know what’s in the others! It’s so tiring when you find many different opinions on the same matter on the same search results page, isn’t it?

Anyway, having realised all this, I overhauled my understanding of the Internet search services, and I corrected a little my way of searching the Net. ☺

I don’t hold grudges against Google

So I’m grateful to Google for what it has taught me. The petty embarrassment with the ratings of my sites was fully compensated by my improved comprehension of the functioning of the Internet and even of the whole current western civilisation.

Google is but a child of the US popular culture. It just jumped once into a niche in the consumption society by offering Yankees a product that made them feel comfortable.

Naturally, the ultimate object of Google is profit. Google must produce a commodity that would sell well. Thus Google is naturally interested in showing us not what we actually need, but for what we are ready to pay. The reputation of the relevancy of its search results is nothing if relevancy doesn’t sell well.

It is not unique to MAKE information instead of showing it. Countless papers, magazines, TV and radio channels have been doing it for decades.

I understood Google much better when I was once shamelessly slandered by a popular Lithuanian TV channel. In a 2-minute-long episode they lied 4 times about me and didn’t even reply to my request to denounce it! I’ve filed an official complaint (in Lithuanian) to the Inspector of journalist ethics of course, but that’s it – in Lithuania, the great majority of inspectors sit deep in the arses of the big corporations. ☺

Why shouldn’t either Google make a penny o two by selling propaganda instead of information? Just everybody does it these days.

The Christian culture looks more and more disgusting to me

I’m growing old ☺, and these days I don’t agonise about personal grievances so hotly as I once used to. On the other side, I’m growing more and more disappointed with the so-called western civilisation.

Built on the traditional hypocrisy of Christianity, the popular culture of North America and Europe is based on deception and manipulation. Modern westerners (usually referred to as the workforce) are not supposed to perfect themselves, they need just to sell themselves on the open market.

Most exemplary successes in art, culture, and especially business are achieved by building up the so-called public image – not by improving themselves, but by convincing others that they are best. Huge enterprises boast about their prosperity until the very moment they are declared completely bankrupt. What others think of you – it is the only thing that really matters.

The constant perfection of the technologies of mass manipulation is the only success the West can be proud of. Little more has been achieved in the last decades.

Being Euronian, I can’t blame Google solely for its joining the common stream of companies that earn money by blocking information and selling lies. However, I’m becoming more and more disappointed with all that hypocrisy and propaganda that is overwhelming my country and the whole Europe in its strive to suppress everything original and sincere.

Anyway, Google is so comforting, isn’t it?

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Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

George Bernard Shaw – en

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