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Cash4gold and google news: there’s no conspiracy theory …

September 2, 2009 No Comment

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.

Cash4gold conspiracy tweets

Cash4gold conspiract tweets

If you type Cash4gold into news.google.co.uk, you get this set of results.

cash4gold-google-news

Google news results for a search on 'cash4gold'

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.

A search on google news for 'cash4gold uk'

A search on google news for 'cash4gold uk'

No conspiracy

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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