January 19, 2006
Google News: Non-Liberals need not apply?
Here's a little experiment to try. Go to the Google News Advanced Search page, put "liberal.ca" in the News Source field, and a common search term (eg. "election") in the main keyword field. This is what you get:
Now back up, change the News Source to "conservative.ca" and try again:
The same holds true for the NDP, Greens, and Bloc Quebecois as well.
Does this seem like fair coverage to you, especially during an election campaign? Please write to Google and let them know that if they're going to include party press releases in their aggregator, they should do so for all the parties, not just one.
Update: Google sent me a reply, claming that "an article's placement on our main page is determined entirely by a mathematical algorithm, based on many factors including how often and where a story appears on the web." That's nice, but it's also completely irrelevant to my complaint. It's not that the other parties get less prominent "placement" than the Liberals, it that they don't get any placement whatsoever. Try again, guys.