By Lynne McTaggart
In June 2018, Google – the portal through which we discover facts,
make connections, interpret the world – decided to change its algorithms
about which information gains preference on its pages. Its target was
alternative and natural health. At a stroke, all information about
alternative and natural health disappeared or was relegated to back
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a functional medicine specialist and architect of
a highly popular nutritional health site, whose referenced content has
been at the top of health search results for some 15 years, he says,
experienced a 99 percent drop in natural search engine traffic. Our own
magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You saw its traffic halved.
As Mercola wrote a few weeks ago: “When entering a health-related
search word into Google, you will no longer find Mercola.com articles in
the search results. The only way to locate Mercola articles is by
adding ‘Mercola.com’ to the search words in question.”
Even then, he goes on, if ‘undesirables’ like him don’t outright
vanish on Google, the tech giant has a raft of ‘quality raters’ who will
manually manipulate even pages with crowd-sourced relevance, to bury
In fact, any negative stories about alternative health practitioners,
no matter how questionable, now appear at the top of search results
At the top of any Google search is Wikipedia, run by invigilators who
are ardent skeptics of anything out of the orthodoxy. British biologist
Rupert Sheldrake, Joe Mercola and just about anyone else with an
alternative view of the world finds it fruitless to attempt to correct
any inaccuracy about them on their Wikipedia page.
Google never saw fit to explain the reason for its drastic change,
but it was generally assumed to have something to do with government
scrutiny of Big Tech, a misguided attempt to eliminate fake news or even
a response to the new epidemic of measles with an attempt to protect
the public from ‘anti-vax’ sites.
Sadly, the answer is a good deal more insidious, a massive concerted
effort by Big Tech and giant corporations to censor the information you
are allowed to see, not for any justifiable moral reason or adherence to
the facts other than to consolidate Big Profits.
Just climb down this rabbit hole for a moment.
In the last six years, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has set up
two pharmaceutical companies: Calico (2013) and Verily Life Sciences
(2015). Verily went on to partner with GlaxoSmithKline to create a third
innovative drug company called Galvani Bioelectronics.
In this way, Google can essentially harvest patients for Verily. Say
you type in ‘alternatives for arthritis.’ What won’t immediately appear
any longer are actual alternatives.
You’ll see results for many pages on conventional treatments, and
what may also pop up is an ad inviting you to add your name to a drug
trial registry so that, if desired, you can participate in a trial of an
exciting breakthrough drug.
Climb down this hole some more. Mary Ellen Coe, Alphabet’s president
of customer solutions, also happens to be on the board of Merck, which
happens to manufacture the MMR vaccine.
Other big online giants are at it, too. Amazon, now the world’s
largest online store, has bought PillPack, a company that pre-sorts
drugs, and is partnering with another drug company to identify suitable
patients for new cancer drugs.
Amazon now owns Wholefoods, and Wholefoods, despite its reputation
for promoting all things wholesome and natural, has banned all ‘anti-vax
books’, and even recently banned our magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell
You, despite its being one of the store chain’s top-selling magazines.
We were never told why, but we assume it had to do with a column in
the last issue that appeared on its shelves, asking some pertinent
questions about vaccines.
Our youngest daughter recently graduated with a design degree. Her
thesis and final project this year had to do with media as an instrument
of surveillance. In a nod to George Orwell, she called her project
‘small sister,’ and in her thesis she wrote: “One of the saddest aspects
of this is that much of the information media has about us we largely
supply. By using the media, we become the instruments of our own
And that imprisonment is to enter into a world of censored
information, largely tailored your history of searches and preferences,
designed to make you an instrument of giant multinational profits.
But that’s only true of Google right now. If it’s an alternative and
more even-handed view of the world you are seeking, look to other search
engines like Yahoo or Bing.
And maybe it’s time to shop somewhere other than Amazon.