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    There are similar problems with AMP. If you don’t use AMP (which is bad for Web publishers), you won’t appear at the top of the search rankings on mobile.

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      But the most disturbing part of the experience was what came next: Somehow, very quickly, search results stopped showing the original story at all. As I recall it—and although it has been six years, this episode was seared into my memory—a cached version remained shortly after the post was unpublished, but it was soon scrubbed from Google search results.

      It is shocking to realize how powerful we have made Google and how shady it can become from time to time. The fact of being able to simply hide an article like that is simply Orwellian. However, I have to admit that a quick search for the headline of that post returns a cached version of the article in Google (at least in my case) but returns a quite terrible list of results in DuckDuckGo (my default search engine) with a cache version of that article nowhere to be found.

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        It is shocking to realize how powerful we have made Google

        Only because people assume that Google is somehow a neutral party and not a selfish entity looking after its own interest. Just don’t assume that search result isn’t filtered by google just as a sale pitch from a used car salesman might not be entirely 100% honest.

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          Exactly. It was a for-profit, surveillance company looking to IPO with Wall St types in control. In the near term, it might practice Don’t Be Evil. In the long term, it was guaranteed to be Massively Evil. I still like the tech firms getting some power in Washington as a counter to established ones. They’re shaking things up a bit in a way that might benefit consumers. A good example is Android ecosystem staying up during the patent wars which would’ve killed a small, less-evil company.

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        This does kind of fit in with what seems to be becoming a trend of distrust of Google, as documented by this recent Ars article. More and more people seem to be taking note and adding up the vaguely dark things that Google does.

        On the other hand, the way the times are getting, I have to wonder - is this trend of negative news about Google a genuine organic trend, or is it being driven by someone else behind the scenes? Maybe there’s someone out there good at PR with an axe to grind against Google. I tend to doubt it more because I can’t think of anyone offhand with the ability and desire to do something like that, rather than because it just seems conspiratorial.

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          At one point, everyone must have been so feed up with quadruple requests and User-Agent spam from Googlebot-Mobile that Google has decided to blatantly ignore /robots.txt, pretending to be the non-mobile Googlebot, and continuing to do a massive amount of duplicate requests, spamming access.log profusely with User-Agent string that had a combination of every browser imaginable (WebKit, KHTML, Gecko, Chrome, Safari, Googlebot — all in one massive User-Agent string that would span 3 lines, or more).

          I blocked ’em on Constantine.SU, returning 413 Payload Too Large / 431 Request Header Fields Too Large, and, subsequently, found my one-CSS-fits-all mobile-friendly pages absent from the mobile search.

          Just checked again today, and, apparently, that’s no longer the case — they still get a whole bunch of 413 errors in my log, but must do about the right thing, apparently.