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Is Google Blocking FreeRepublic.com?
Poe.com ^ | February 22, 2009 | Richard Lawrence Poe

Posted on 02/22/2009 5:58:58 PM PST by Richard Poe

CONSERVATIVE COMANCHE blogger David Yeagley is enjoying a record surge in Web traffic, following the redesign of his BadEagle.com Web site. But you'd never know it from reading our Google Analytics report.

While most traffic counters show Yeagley's readership skyrocketing since the January 14 relaunch, Google Analytics shows Yeagley in a nose-dive. Part of the problem appears to be that Google is ignoring any traffic we get from the popular, conservative discussion board FreeRepublic.com.

As the designer of Yeagley's new site, I was pleased to see a big traffic spike on January 31, two weeks after our relaunch. The spike came largely from FreeRepublic.




The charts above -- both from WordPress Stats -- indicate that David Yeagley's BadEagle.com blog got a spike of 1,078 page views on January 31, at least 413 of which came from FreeRepublic.com. The chart below -- from Google Analytics -- shows no spike on January 31, and no sign of any traffic from FreeRepublic.com.



On January 30, a Freeper calling herself Sioux-san had posted Dr. Yeagley's article "Michael Medved and `White Women'" at FreeRepublic.com. She graciously provided a link back to BadEagle.com, where the original article appeared.

Over the next 24 hours, some 413 Freepers followed that link back to BadEagle, according to our internal traffic counter WordPress Stats. In its list of referring Web sites, WordPress clearly indicated that those 413 page views came from FreeRepublic, and at least 326 of them specifically from the article posted at FreeRepublic by Sioux-san.

Strangely, our Google Analytics account showed no sign of any visits from FreeRepublic during the same 24-hour period. Not a single visit. Not a single Freeper. Not one.

Indeed, while Site Meter and WordPress Stats showed a big spike in our traffic on January 31, Google Analytics showed a drop.

With its massive traffic, FreeRepublic ought to be a kingmaker on the Internet. It ought to be able to make or break other Web sites by choosing which sites to grace with its traffic and which sites to ignore.

Our experience with the mysterious, vanishing traffic spike of January 31 may indicate that liberal Internet gatekeepers have found a way to curtail FreeRepublic's influence -- and the influence of conservative Web sites generally.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: fr; freerepublic; google; yeagley
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1 posted on 02/22/2009 5:58:59 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Richard Poe

Nope. FR still gets a couple of hits from content keywords alone, just like the other sites. And if you want hits only from FR, do like the following.

keywords here site:freerepublic.com


2 posted on 02/22/2009 6:02:03 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Sioux-san; Richard Poe
On January 30, a Freeper calling herself Sioux-san had posted Dr. Yeagley's article...

*Ping!*

3 posted on 02/22/2009 6:02:35 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: All

http://www.google.com

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=freerepublic.com&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=freerepublic&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=


4 posted on 02/22/2009 6:02:48 PM PST by Cindy
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To: Richard Poe

And this surprises someone?


5 posted on 02/22/2009 6:02:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("To insist on strength is not war-mongering. It is peace-mongering." Barry Goldwater)
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To: Richard Poe

Google is my search engine of last resort. I much prefer Dogpile, using Google only if Dogpile fails.


6 posted on 02/22/2009 6:05:29 PM PST by sionnsar (Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | REAL Stimulus: Apply paddles, shout "CLEAR!")
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To: Richard Poe

I don’t know if Google is censoring FR, but I strongly suspect that some colleges in the Twin Cities metro are filtering FR from their machines. You can type in the URL and get there by link, but the browsers do not retain FR’s addy and error screens are common.


7 posted on 02/22/2009 6:05:46 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Actually, it all started back in Mayberry. Helen Crump was a traveler and Floyd, well, you know...)
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To: Richard Poe

I’ve quit using Google and use ixquick instead.

You can even substitute it for Google on the IE7 toolbar.


8 posted on 02/22/2009 6:05:53 PM PST by George Smiley (They're not drinking the Kool-Aid any more. They're eating it straight out of the packet.)
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To: sionnsar

is it me or you CANT add DOGPILE to FF toolbar?


9 posted on 02/22/2009 6:08:28 PM PST by max americana
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To: George Smiley

So what’s ixquick? Is it like firefox?


10 posted on 02/22/2009 6:08:40 PM PST by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! + In this sign Conquer! +)
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To: sionnsar

Dogpile is a liberal/left outfit, too, IMO. So I use and donate to a conservative proxy.

http://www.scroogle.org/


11 posted on 02/22/2009 6:09:14 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: familyop
How about Clusty?

http://www.clusty.com

I use that one all the time instead of Google.

12 posted on 02/22/2009 6:10:55 PM PST by GnL
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To: Richard Poe

Needs to sue them.


13 posted on 02/22/2009 6:12:07 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: Richard Poe
I would be interested in any available follow up information on this “blocking”.

I just checked out the site and saw the story of the confiscated bumper sticker. I have had 3 removed in parking lots.

I am looking for a Tea Party one now.

THEY ARE COMING FOR US ALL!

14 posted on 02/22/2009 6:12:43 PM PST by 3D-JOY
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To: Richard Poe
I used the advance search for an old post I didn't remember much about as to keywords. It came right up, but then it wasn't the right page. I tinkered for a bit then found it.

Google I use almost exclusively. Habit. Often recent regular google searches, FR comes up near the top, don't see any reason to worry about it yet.

15 posted on 02/22/2009 6:14:42 PM PST by Aliska
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To: familyop
familyop writes: FR still gets a couple of hits from content keywords alone, just like the other sites.

Of course FreeRepublic gets plenty of incoming traffic from Google and everywhere else. There can be no question about that.

I am talking here about outgoing traffic. When FreeRepublic links to other Web sites, does Google keep proper track of the traffic those Web sites are receiving from FreeRepublic?

Our experience suggests that it does not -- at least not in all cases.
16 posted on 02/22/2009 6:16:47 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: GnL

Clusty is a metasearch engine that makes requests to other search engines. That’s alright for using several other search engines in one search. I used metasearches sometimes during the ‘90s.


17 posted on 02/22/2009 6:17:05 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: familyop
Dogpile is a liberal/left outfit, too, IMO./i>

Really? Do you have sources? The only thing I can say with a certainty is that they seem to observe "American" holidays in rather more American fashion than Google (though Dogpile did miss Washington's Birthday).

18 posted on 02/22/2009 6:17:43 PM PST by sionnsar (Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | REAL Stimulus: Apply paddles, shout "CLEAR!")
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To: WorkingClassFilth

>>>I don’t know if Google is censoring FR, but I strongly suspect that some colleges in the Twin Cities metro are filtering FR from their machines.

On any given day you will find a series of totally repetitive anti-Darwin blog articles posted as NEWS, while any discussion of actual science is relegated to general CHAT. How seriously should schools take such a site?


19 posted on 02/22/2009 6:18:09 PM PST by tlb
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To: Richard Poe
Last night I was on an FR gun control thread. Went to Google in an attempt to find more info about the Hungarian Revolution and guns. To my surprise, Google listed that very thread at the top of the results page. Thread was only about an hour old.
20 posted on 02/22/2009 6:18:22 PM PST by neefer (Because you can't starve us out and you can't make us run.)
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To: Richard Poe
We should conduct an experiment. Various links are posted at FR, and Freepers click on them. The statistics from the receiving links are tallied, these are compared to the Google stats.

To add a control, Freepers would be directed to a neutral third link, and there click on the target link. If Google tallies from the the neutral links, but not FR, then Google has some explaining to do.

21 posted on 02/22/2009 6:19:41 PM PST by Plutarch
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To: sionnsar

Try SCROOGLE.ORG....(NOT .com - it’s porn) here...

http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

They are doing a number on GOOGLE...and it doesn’t track w/cookies, and doesn’t post ads, but posts funny cartoons mocking google.


22 posted on 02/22/2009 6:24:01 PM PST by goodnesswins (Conservative and fighting for freedom and liberty....whether you like it or not.)
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To: Richard Poe

I’ve not read the piece referred to in this post, but I remember reading a Yeagley piece a year or two ago about white women (at FrontPageMagazine.com, I believe). If it wasn’t satire, it was repellent; if it was satire, it was poorly done. Yeagley needs to work on his writing chops.


23 posted on 02/22/2009 6:25:50 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Richard Poe
"I am talking here about outgoing traffic. When FreeRepublic links to other Web sites, does Google keep proper track of the traffic those Web sites are receiving from FreeRepublic?

Our experience suggests that it does not -- at least not in all cases.
"

That would depend on how the webmasters for those sites try to get traffic. Hidden keywords and/or other violations will cause many or all of their hits to be voided. "Professional" website traffic "experts" are notorious for getting initial floods for their clients' sites, only to their customers penalized by search engines soon after.

Reputable search engine companies have their policies on search engine optimizations in their on-site documents for that.


24 posted on 02/22/2009 6:25:53 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: tlb

Well, given the kinds of sites they seem to allow and the caliber of teaching in many classes, I’d say that they shouldn’t have a beef with anything. BTW, don’t worry too much, Darwinism still reigns as the main religion on most campuses that I’ve seen.


25 posted on 02/22/2009 6:26:17 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Actually, it all started back in Mayberry. Helen Crump was a traveler and Floyd, well, you know...)
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To: Richard Poe

Correction:
...only to have their customers penalized by search engines soon after.


26 posted on 02/22/2009 6:27:46 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: neefer
neefer writes: Last night I was on an FR gun control thread. Went to Google in an attempt to find more info about the Hungarian Revolution and guns. To my surprise, Google listed that very thread at the top of the results page. Thread was only about an hour old.

Well, I can only repeat what I wrote to familyop above. My article does not suggest that Google is blocking FreeRepublic from its search engine. It suggests that it is failing to give proper credit to Web sites for incoming traffic they receive from FreeRepublic.

This is a different issue than the one you address.
27 posted on 02/22/2009 6:27:49 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Richard Poe

They have also been removing unfavorable images and cartoons targeted at Obama. There seems to be a general cleansing of conservative content. Orwellian.


28 posted on 02/22/2009 6:28:46 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: goodnesswins

I do use Scroogle from time to time.


29 posted on 02/22/2009 6:29:29 PM PST by sionnsar (Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | REAL Stimulus: Apply paddles, shout "CLEAR!")
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To: All

He’s not referring to keyword searches on Google that return Free Republic in the search results. He’s talking about the Google traffic analysis statistics for websites to which Free Republic provides external links from its articles.


30 posted on 02/22/2009 6:29:32 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Richard Poe
My article does not suggest that Google is blocking FreeRepublic from its search engine.

And yet your headline imples otherwise.

Is Google Blocking FreeRepublic.com?

Which is it?

32 posted on 02/22/2009 6:34:53 PM PST by TomServo
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To: Richard Poe; All

Interesting & an interesting thread. Thanks for posting. BTTT!


33 posted on 02/22/2009 6:38:10 PM PST by PGalt
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To: Richard Poe

Richard - you have a way of finding the great stuff to post. You’re a FreeRepublic treasure. Hope I’m still on the ping list...


34 posted on 02/22/2009 6:38:36 PM PST by GOPJ (The MSM will trumpet every hard luck housing story they can find to undermine Santelli.)
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To: Richard Poe

Forgive my ignorance, but I don’t see why Google Analytics would know anything about traffic coming to your site from FR. I searched for the site name you mentioned at Google using FR as the source and this thread was the second result.

http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=BadEagle.com+site:freerepublic.com&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


35 posted on 02/22/2009 6:42:16 PM PST by KarinG1 (Opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of sane people.)
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To: Richard Poe
When I do a Google search for BadEagle.com, the first listing is for BadEagle. The second listing has the following text:

Oct 11, 2006 ... On the outside one would never guess that Badeagle.com is a site filled with Hate Speech preaching White Supremacy and the hatred of Blacks, ...

That has to turn a lot of people away from the site. I'm curious if Google placed it there on purpose.

36 posted on 02/22/2009 6:42:34 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: BuckeyeTexan
"He’s not referring to keyword searches on Google that return Free Republic in the search results. He’s talking about the Google traffic analysis statistics for websites to which Free Republic provides external links from its articles."

See comment #24 and #26.

I've admin'd news sites including search engine optimizations. Lefty Google is endlessly stubborn on changing any policy for the sake of any other organization. Google has what we might call a very mechanical general policy of "diversity," but Google is also analytically equal about how they treat various sites. They won't manually intervene, unless they see a real and massive violation of their policy.

My biggest gripe about Google, is that its administrators have implemented different policies for communist nations to suit those nations (China being one example). But so have most of our big slaver corporates that are often announced as being vanguards of freedom and capitalism (Microslut, and all).


37 posted on 02/22/2009 6:45:27 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Richard Poe
I use Firefox with the NoScript add-on. With the NoScript add-on I can selectively allow/disallow scripts to run on Firefox. For the most part, I do not allow google-analytics scripts to run at any time. How many other Freepers are doing the same I can't say. But it would probably explain why google would not get any stats from me.
38 posted on 02/22/2009 6:45:37 PM PST by BufordP ("I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."--George "the Abandoner" Bush)
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To: familyop
familyop writes: That would depend on how the webmasters for those sites try to get traffic. Hidden keywords and/or other violations will cause many or all of their hits to be voided. "Professional" website traffic "experts" are notorious for getting initial floods for their clients' sites, only to have their customers penalized by search engines soon after.

As my article notes, I am the designer of the Web site in question. I would not know how to game the system in the manner you describe, even if I wished to do so (and I certainly do not!).

You appear to be implying that Google may be legitimately penalizing us for some wrongdoing on our part. If that is your point, it is unwarranted.

The situation is exactly as my article describes. A Freeper named Sioux-san innocently posted one of Dr. Yeagley's articles on FreeRepublic. At least 326 Freepers responded by viewing Dr. Yeagley's page through the link Sioux-san provided

WordPress Stats and Site Meter duly and properly recorded the traffic surge from FreeRepublic. Google Analytics did not.


39 posted on 02/22/2009 6:47:06 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: eleni121

ixquick and cuil both claim they don’t log user searches like Google does


40 posted on 02/22/2009 6:47:41 PM PST by hugorand
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To: BufordP

Likewise if they expect referrer logging. I alway disable that.


41 posted on 02/22/2009 6:49:48 PM PST by KarinG1 (Opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of sane people.)
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To: KarinG1
KarinG1 writes: Forgive my ignorance, but I don’t see why Google Analytics would know anything about traffic coming to your site from FR.

It is their job to know what traffic is coming to their clients' sites, and from where. It is precisely in order to learn such information that Web sites sign up for Google Analytics accounts in the first place.

The page I reproduced above from Google Analytics claims to show from what sites BadEagle.com received traffic between January 11 and February 10, 2009. However, the information it presents is wrong, because it ignores the traffic which BadEagle received from FreeRepublic during that time period.


42 posted on 02/22/2009 6:58:04 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: familyop; Allegra; LucyT; Fred Nerks; Beckwith; Polarik
Thanks for the scoogle reference. They are now my default search engine. No cookies, search log deleted within 48 hours so that your IP address is not revealed?

Great stuff.

One more step towards fascist proofing.

43 posted on 02/22/2009 7:02:26 PM PST by Candor7 (Fascism? All it takes is for good men to say nothing, ( member NRA)
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To: familyop

The scroogle search site is 4 times faster than Google. Man it is FAST!


44 posted on 02/22/2009 7:05:10 PM PST by Candor7 (Fascism? All it takes is for good men to say nothing, ( member NRA)
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To: Richard Poe

I wasn’t implying anything about the mentioned sites. If you want more search engine traffic, read the search engines’ documentation on how to get it.

I once administered a far more hated high-traffic site than yours. It was a truly conservative anti-feminism, anti-romanticism site. ...even published analyses and citations about Susan B. Anthony’s work against traditional family structure, religion and capitalism (also Beecher, Hull, Woodhull, all). The PLA (Chinese government) hit it a few hundred thousand times, then complained to our US Government about us violating “women’s” “human” “rights.” Threats from Democrats and Republicans of the social left were common. Academics with the CWA even argued (unsuccessfully) against the publications.


45 posted on 02/22/2009 7:07:29 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Candor7

Yes, and if you want more privacy, do

https://ssl.scroogle.org/

But if you want that search engine proxy to continue, donate to them. I have no personal pecuniary (monetary) interest in that site, BTW. ...just think it’s cool.


46 posted on 02/22/2009 7:09:28 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: familyop
familyop writes: Google is also analytically equal about how they treat various sites.

Sadly, what you write is untrue. Google itself now admits that it applies subjective, personal judgments in assigning greater or lesser "value" to Web pages, and thus greater or lesser value to links from those pages.

See "Google Cranks Up the Consensus Engine" by Andrew Orlowski in The Register of December 12, 2008.
47 posted on 02/22/2009 7:09:37 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Candor7

And you’re welcome!


48 posted on 02/22/2009 7:10:21 PM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Richard Poe

If you would please continue to indulge me, and I appreciate your patience, how exactly would they know where I came to your site from? I don’t allow their scripts to run on my computer and I don’t allow referrer logging, so it seems to me that they would have difficulty tracking connections from my network. If they are doing so I’d really like to know how they do it so that I can put a stop to it.


49 posted on 02/22/2009 7:25:46 PM PST by KarinG1 (Opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of sane people.)
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To: George Smiley
ixquick is a metasearch engine that doesn't keep records of what you look up.

Unlike Google.

50 posted on 02/22/2009 7:33:28 PM PST by George Smiley (They're not drinking the Kool-Aid any more. They're eating it straight out of the packet.)
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