Dead and Buried?
Google is still indexing us in the main index, but it seems not to be ranking any of our stories. Regardless of how relevant they might be to a search term, they now seem to be buried so deep in the results that nobody is ever going to see them. Whilst this all seems to have taken full effect this month, there were warning signs even before this. Most notably, stories were no longer being indexed in Google News. But rather than simply kick us out of Google News (which would have been their prerogative), they have instead cravenly started coming up with bizarre error messages: the last half dozen stories have been 'too short', despite all being over a thousand words each in length, and one case of 'title not found', (hint, Google News bot, it's between the
Whilst I make it sound like a personal vendetta against The Sleaze, the fact is that other satire sites also seem to be taking a hit, with some ceasing publication already. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Google seems to be using the 'fake news' bollocks as an excuse to try and deliver a coup de grace to as much online satire as they can. It's long been clear that they don't like satire. Certainly, their algorithms clearly don't understand satire and have difficulty in classifying them. The problem, for them, is that, to an algorithm, they appear to be news stories, but they aren't. You have to be human to understand satire, to be able to make the distinction between a satirical story and factual reporting. So, obviously, satire has to be shuffled off the web. Unless, that is, it is a 'brand', like The Onion, which an algorithm can easily identify. Anyway, I really don't know where we go from here.