Yes, Google Uses Its Power To Quash Ideas It Doesn't Like
I asked the Google people if I understood correctly: If a publisher didn’t put a +1 button on the page, its search results would suffer? The answer was yes. ..
I published a story headlined, “Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Suffers,” ..
I was told by my higher-ups at Forbes that Google representatives called them saying that the article was problematic and had to come down.
"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it has been six years, this episode was seared into my memory—a cached version remained shortly after the post was unpublished, but it was soon scrubbed from Google search results. That was unusual; websites captured by Google’s crawler did not tend to vanish that quickly."
"Deliberately manipulating search results to eliminate references to a story that Google doesn’t like would be an extraordinary, almost dystopian abuse of the company’s power over information on the internet. I don’t have any hard evidence to prove that that’s what Google did in this instance, but it’s part of why this episode has haunted me for years: The story Google didn’t want people to read swiftly became impossible to find through Google."
The links from Kashmir Hill's article:
On the story's disappearance from Google search:
The '+1' era was the time when Google was MASSIVELY pushing Google Plus - like Microsoft did with Windows 10 forced upgrades - so these tactics don't surprise me in the least.
Google, Amazon and Facebook are hugely dangerous to free society.