Is Google hindering free speech?

I’ve been working on some search engine optimization lately and I began thinking about how web designers have to constantly keep in mind how Google will rank the pages we create. We have to remain conscious of our wording and our design in order to appease Google’s robots crawling the web looking for “good” content. Being conscience of how Google will rank a page means different things to different people. To some that means creating everything specifically to boost search engine rankings, this usually results in a terribly uninteresting and useless website but it can increase traffic. The key is finding a balance between getting across the message and look that you want and getting Google to rank it well enough that people will actually find it.
Coming back to my question, is Google punishing free speech by encouraging web sites to conform to their standards? The short answer is no. Google is certainly not forcing anyone to do anything, but if you want your rankings to improve on their search engine, you’ll have to do things their way. On the other hand people are definitely altering their speech in order to be heard. It’s slightly ironic, but is there a solution to the problem? I certainly don’t have it if there is. At this point I should probably commend Google for their efforts in creating a search engine that is remarkably accurate in returning results according to what is being searched for.

Finally, I want to say that although it may be difficult to have your voice heard via your website because of Google’s difficult to master ranking system, social media shines in this area. Facebook and twitter are great ways to engage an audience easily. For more information on Open Avenue’s professional search engine optimization services or social media, drop me a line.

-Bryce

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