the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Google Brain Drain

Posted by Jeff Id on January 10, 2010

Updated again, despite the low search count, Google doesn’t seem to be missing any links.

UPDATED AGAIN, ANOTHER 10,000 WEBSITES LOST – SEE BOTTOM – Google really does seem to be deleting links to climategate!!!


Dr, Weinstein pointed out something interesting by email . It appears google is linking to less and less websites specific to climategate. Early this morning he sent an email saying google was below 3 million hits where it once peaked at around 50 million. Currently the number has dropped even further to 2.2 million,

And Bing still has over 50 million.

Yahoo had over 30 million.

I wonder what’s going on.


This article linked below is very interesting, basically google is in the green energy business, partnering with GE (the giant green scammers putting money in the pockets of the socialists).

‘Google Energy’ subsidiary considers clean power”.

H/T Olda K.


It’s continuing, when I first captured the 2.2 million of the first image above, every fifth reload I would get 2.22 million positive results. About midday today, it stopped happening. I could not get anything but 2.2 so I suspected the rounding error was responsible. Now even with multiple reloads of google, it’s down to 2.19, which is a total of 30,000 link drop since this post aired today. We’ll call it 10,000 because that’s the proven amount. They really do seem to be deleting links rapidly.

This is to compare to the Holland version of Google. Think about it, would Google Holland naturally have more hits than the US.

And finally Germany – Google is busted.

Done deal. China has the same hits as the US but they haven’t cleaned up Germany yet.

52 Responses to “Google Brain Drain”

  1. Jeff Id said

    There were over 10 million hits on google, 11/28/09 – very early in the development of what was happening.

  2. Keith MacDonald said

    Is Al Gore still a “Senior Advisor” with Google?
    Perhaps this is an example of his advise in action.

  3. I noticed this, too. I used to type in “climategate” and follow the links, but I gave up when the listings diminished.

  4. Keith MacDonald said

    I wonder which Google site you mean?

    For example is currently saying two different things. 18,200,000 results are shown when you type “climategate” and can see the predictive resulst drop-down list. But when you click on that option, and go to page 1 of the results, it says 2,910,000

  5. Peter Dunford said

    I got 2.9 million results at, but 57.6million at Can we trust google anymore?

  6. Altavista has over 30,000,000

    Google Uk shows 11,000,000 for Climategate emails and 2,920,000 for Climategate at the moment.

    Google cant be trusted as all through Copenhagen Climategate was not an option is the listbox, although it did return limited results

  7. Maxt said

    During the Copenhagen love in, Google had a how to reduce global warming via individual action link on the bottom of the search home page. It is not surprising the numbers are going down.

  8. Leon Hartner said (German version) lists 3,910,000 hits for “climategate”. If you activate the filters, that number decreases to 1,920,000 hits. This topic seems to endanger the younger ones^^

  9. Lee Klinger said

    Jeff, sorry to be OT but yesterday or the day before you had a post titled something like “Id grumpy” with a video of Lord Monckton. Where did it go? And I would love to see the associated graphs that you posted.

  10. Jeff Id said

    #9 It got chucked. I was too mad and screaming at ignorant people doesn’t help. The graphs are easy to find though.

    And the original video was here

    I should warn you though, watching the video WILL make you dumber.

  11. marisa said

    Then, let’s blacklist Google. We are the ones having the power to move the investigation of this matter to its ultimate consequence. People have to go to jail for this scam. Societies have been (and continue to be) damaged by this lie, the lie being that humans are to blamed for the climate change (which is happening as it should) and the establishment is doing nothing about it. I will continue getting myself informed whether Google or Al Gore like it or not!!
    And, isn’t time for leadership to show outrage? Where are all the parents refusing to continuing to pay tuition to Universities teaching fake science? Where are all of the Brits up in arms against the Met office clear political agenda? Where are the leaders of developing countries demanding an investigation on what has transpired in the last 20 years? Where is Obama and his administration? Where is the scientific community? We are supposed to be a country of law. Where is the enforcement of the law? There was a fraud committed in all of us and now there is a coverup!

  12. Wansbeck said

    Strange things happen on the internet.

    When I open a new tab I get a list of ‘most visited’ sites.

    Top of the list is realclimate. I have visited the site to check-out sockpuppets but no way is it my most visited.
    tAV appears, a site I do visit often, so you must still be below the radar and must try harder as CA, WUWT, Bishop Hill and Lucia are all missing from the list although they are also frequently visited.
    Oddly, RomanM has hit the list although I have had few recent visits; very quiet at the moment.
    Extremely annoyingly, the DVLA (Vehicle tax office) appears in the list. I have 2 cars so only visit the site twice per year to renew my tax.

  13. Chris D. said, search term “Climategate”, as of 2 minutes ago:

    ALL RESULTS 1-10 of 51,400,000 results

  14. Olda K. said

    Hi there,

    Rather than represent a shift beyond Google’s core search business, though, the moves are meant to give Google flexibility in pursuing its corporate goal of carbon neutrality, according to a Google representative.

    “Right now, we can’t buy affordable, utility-scale, renewable energy in our markets,” said Google representative Niki Fenwick. “We want to buy the highest quality, most affordable renewable energy wherever we can and use the green credits.”

    See ‘Google Energy’ subsidiary considers clean power”. Call it “interesting” if you want…

  15. Michael F said

    Very interesting.

    Just tried Altavista (search of “climategate” on worldwide setting, all languages) and got “30,000,000 results,” confirming Toryaardvark above.

    Bing gives 51,400,000. Confirming the above as well.

    Google – don’t be evil.

  16. greg2213 said

    Hey all,

    Not that I disagree with the idea that Google is both liberal and very green, but there’s another explanation for this. (Also, lets try to be skeptics here, regarding ideas about G’s “thinking.”)

    “World of Warcraft” (with quotes)
    google: 46 mil hits
    Bing: 24.5 mil
    Alta Vista: 299 mil (same engine as Yahoo?)
    Yahoo: 299 mil

    So is Bing censoring WoW?

    Google has been hit hard over the years by spammers (a very few of those pages were mine) and this is a topic which I know a little about.

    Google does a couple of things to try and stop both spam and repetition of content (several/many links pointing to the same thing.)

    Active deletion of spammer sites, which also hits good sites that link to spam or have spam pages.

    Duplicate content filtering. Basically this means that any given article on a site will (ideally) appear once in Google. So Jeff Id’s article on (topic) will appear on his home page, topic page, category list page, tag list page, and possibly elsewhere. In addition to whoever clips and posts the whole article. Google will try to show all of that as one article/link, Yahoo might show all of them.

    If I clone Jeff’s page and post it I’ll likely find that it will be hard to get that page ranked in G due to that filter. Quoting a snip and adding my own comments is entirely different and will dodge the filters. (Which is another reason why you don’t want to lift entire posts.)

    I’m sure there are others.

    As far as getting pages ranked in G for any given topic…

    Make sure the topic phrase (eg: Climategate) is in the post title AND get as many links to that post/page as you can, ideally with Climategate in the link text.

    So if everyone who reads this site makes a link to it, or a bookmark on a social site, or a blog post linking in then we’d see this site get a heap more Google traffic as well as traffic from the linking sites.

    You want to bump RC? Get more links.

  17. Jeff Id said

    #16, I think the issue is that the total linked pages have dropped, not that the total number of pages is lower. Google was 10 million on Nov29 and it reached higher than that over the past months. What happened to all the webpages?

  18. plazaeme said

    On, on 5th December they gave 28.400.000 results -I wrote a post about it then. Right now they have 3.050.000 results.

  19. plazaeme said

    Ah, and the difference with “climate change”

    Then, 22.2 M
    Now, 64.4 M

  20. greg2213 said

    It’s the filters.

    The filtering will drop the number of links and every page in G’s index will have a link. The two are really the same. Pages in G’s index drop out due to the filters. Yes, there are bugs. Plenty of them. How could there not be, with that much code and data? Given their army of coders there are probably a number of backdoors and hacks and maybe even a bit of illicit tampering with results.

    Also, in Google, you’ll probably see that same thing on any news topic. Big burst of hits, then it settles way down.

    I’m not saying there’s no chance of tampering, I’m saying that the results are probably consistent with other newsy items.

    Google also updates much faster than the other search engines and is constantly tweaking their algorithms (much to the irritation of those who try to play the “get my site ranked in Google” game.

    Fresh content (“news”) is also given some degree of priority.

    This is why G’s listings tend to be (usually, but not always) better than their competition’s.

    So as a new meme, such as Climategate, goes viral it will show a lot of pages listed. As time moves on Google updates, pages are filtered, and the number of pages listed drops.

    Fresher pages might get a priority. So initially you might see the skeptic pages ranking high, since they’re the ones on the story, but as warmist pages start hopping on the issue you’ll see their pages ranking. If skeptic sites made a climategate push, again, you’d probably see them bounce back.

    You have an old post that needs a boost? Get 20 links to that post and watch it climb back up.

    By the way, titles such as “Guh….Yup” won’t do well in G, though your readers will like them. 🙂

    Here’s another interesting tidbit. If you enter this phrase: link: into G you’ll see 1130 links to your site, but G doesn’t show all the links publicly.

    In Yahoo you’ll see 32,679! But Y! shows everything that links to the site.

    If you have a Google webmaster account, and your site is registered, you will see a lot more links coming in.

    The point is that G looks at links differently than Y! (BTW – you show a LOT more links in than RC.)

    So I say that it’s the automatic filters, not the conspiracy and I think you’ll see much the same on any newsy items. 🙂

  21. Phillip Bratby said

    bing gives me 1-10 of 57,600,000 results for climategate

  22. Rod said

    I agree with Greg2213 at #16. A conspiracy theory is likely to be misleading, as the Google search engine works differently from Yahoo and Bing. It is much more focussed on highlighting pages that are currently popular searches. It does drop older material that is no longer attracting links from other web pages, which Google sees as an indicator of public interest in a topic. I suggest the “Climategate” topic has moved on in the news to more specific discussions about the issues, rather than just the word “Climategate” as a topic, and such trends are quickly reflected in Google these days. For example, search for “climategate norfolk” and there is heaps on the recent comment by the Norfolk Police, but in a week or two something else will be more topical.

    This makes sense – imagine how many web pages there are added every day, and how they would clog the system if all are kept high on the search result indexes for many months, even years. A selection process is required, and Google uses back links to decide web page importance.

    Also Google does automatically highlight “authority” sites, such as government and big active sites with a lot of links to them like the BBC and Wikipedia – which we know just happen to have been expressing the “official line” on climate change, so it may look to be a biased search result from Google. I think that just reflects the volume of propaganda, rather than evidence of a manipulation by Google.

    Best thing we can do is to give Google’s automatic search robots good reason to highlight the other point of view with active debate and lots of back links to web pages with more balanced viewpoints – so to help in a little way my comment links to WUWT!

  23. Leonard Weinstein said

    Greg 2213 and Rod,

    I did a search on Google on Tiger Woods. 59,400,000. I did Global Warming. 36,500,000. These have not decreased over time (I checked them the same time I checked Climategate, and only climategate has been decreasing!). This is not a filter problem! The climategate still listed included older listings as well as recent. I have seen no decrease in those listings that claim climategate is a tempest in a teapot or that it is of little effect. This seems to be a deliberate censoring.

  24. Rod said

    @Leonard Weinstein
    But just imagine how many back links have accumulated to web pages featuring “climate change” and “global warming” over several years of relentless propaganda. “Climategate” is a new term, and, let’s be honest about this, there are not many people actually writing web pages/news stories at the moment with that term in the title.
    I think it would be a mistake to try to create a conspiracy theory out of this.
    Steve gets my back link this time!

  25. PeterS said

    One thing they can’t remove is “ice-age” unless Google really wants to make themselves look so stupid that it becomes obvious to all they are deliberately corrupting the counts.

  26. […] Vent today brought up something we’ve been noticing as well. At one point, there were over 50 million Google search […]

  27. Mark said

    Thanks for the post. Over at, we’ve noticed the same thing. In fact, while you found 2.2 million when you wrote this article, I assume today, when we just checked now, it showed 1,950,000. That’s a quarter of a million fewer in less than a day.

    We’ve just put up an article on this as well (with a link to your article) called Can’t Hide the Decline of Google “Climategate” search results. And we’ve added something else that Google does that makes you wonder about all the manipulations that could be possible–it has to do with protecting “Islam” over other religions. You find it very interesting.

    Take care.

  28. curious said

    Google trends shows the decline in searching on “Climategate”:

    I can’t see a scale but the top right of page suggests that more info. might be available via a Google account:

    “Sign in to see and export additional Trends data”

  29. Leonard Weinstein said


    Please explain the level of Tiger Woods at 59,000,000 (I have followed this at the same time as climategate out of interest which would get more references. the level of Tiger Woods has slowed down but NOT reversed). These are also relatively new stories at about the same time frame as climategate and the most recent activity is now relatively cold. This count has not dropped a bit. The use of Tiger Woods is my PROXY on info removal. There clearly is a case of HIDE THE DECLINE here.

  30. Leonard Weinstein said

    In addition to on climategate, look at for Tiger Woods. More of a drop that climategate!! There is truly something fishey here.

  31. Hoi Polloi said

    climategate : (Holland) : 3.030.000
    climate gate : (Holland) : 13.700.000

  32. Hoi Polloi said

    climate-gate : (Holland) : 7.910.000

  33. Rod said

    @Leonard Weinstein
    Curious at #28 is right – Google Trends shows a big drop in public interest in the search term “climategate”. It shows as a short blip. So far as Google’s automated search engines are concerned, this will look like a short lived topic that came from nowhere and is now fading, like countless other similar temporarily hot topics.
    These are public search figures, created by you and I, not by Google. If there is declining public interest, the response in Google’s index is inevitable.
    Searches for “Tiger Woods” have fallen off too, but look at the long history of active searches and vast amount of content on the web about the man over many years. This depth is simply not there for the recently coined term “climategate”. It is not a fair comparison.
    Remember, “climategate” is a very specific term somebody made up to name to a particular event last November. It hardly represents the ongoing climate science/policy debate that is now taking place, even though it played a big role in getting it started again. I don’t see any grounds to believe Google is not indexing the material coming out on that ongoing debate.
    Look, I just had 8 websites de-indexed by Google – I had let them just sit there with little activity around them. Declining public interest inevitably means Google will scale back its indexing.
    The answer is to keep the debate going, rather than to attack the messenger.
    Please leave the witch hunts to the AGW zealots.

  34. Geoff Sherrington said

    From (the Australian branch). There is an option to search the world or search Australian pages.

    World hits then the Australian pages hits:
    Climategate 2,960,000 20,300,000 (yes, the order is not reversed).
    Climategate tAV 26,700 2,500,000
    Air vent 9,930,000 1,470,000 (might including plumbing) 548,000 574,000
    What’s Up With That? 177,000,000 177,000,000

    Looks like meddling.

  35. Rod said

    I can’t resist adding another observation: the causation attributed by the AGW enthusiasts to the correlation between CO2 and the Hockey Stick graph is not unlike the causation being drawn here to the correlation between Google’s corporate investments in energy issues and the decline in their “climategate” term indexing.
    What are you going to call your new “religion”?
    May I make another plea for objectivity?

  36. Mark said

    To all of you who are checking numbers for “climategate emails” or “climate gate” you MUST include the quotation marks in your search query. Without them, it just tells you how many pages have both those words anywhere on the page.

    For example searching for climate gate as two words w/o quotations, would count a page about Bill Gates or fence gates, along with the word (or synonym) climate somewhere else on the page.

  37. Leonard Weinstein said

    The whole issue of climategate is only a couple of months old. Don’t tell me the interest span is that short. I think that in fact the traffic of lookup is probably not down very much, certainly not enough to cut entries a factor of 25 or more.

    Climategate is ONE word. No chance of confusion there. That is the word that has decreased a factor of 25 or more in a short time, and there is still a LOT of web interest.

  38. Leonard Weinstein said

    Just out of curiosity I looked up Leonard Weinstein and got 3,500,000 hits. I realize that includes two words sometimes taken separately, and includes other people by the same name. However, I can’t imagine why there would be that much traffic on the three combinations, and less than 2,000,000 on climategate!!! Older sources are not removed unless the server they are on removes them so that a refresh deletes them.

  39. greg2213 said

    Mark (22) makes a good point. Just a note on comment links, though. Usually (not always) they have a “nofollow” tag attached. What this means is that Google will not count them when looking to see how many incoming links some page might have. I think that Y! does count them, given the far greater number of links that Y! sees for any given site.

    Rod (24) also makes a good point. There’s a huge depth of info for “global warming” topics, but climategate is new. Probably most of the people who might have been interested in that are now digging deeper into thew issue and aren’t writing as much about “climategate.”

    Google can censor results, it does so in China, but I don’t believe it is here. G also has a far more sophisticated set of algorithms that the others, which is why it rules the search game.

    BTW – For anyone here who has a website: You probably have a stats program running which you can access from your control panel. It should tell you how much traffic you’re getting (I’ll bet Google is way out in front for most, it’s over 90% for my sites) and which keywords people are entering (in the search engines) to find your site. Check that out and explore it a bit, you might find some interesting stuff and a few surprises. (If G was censoring your climate site you’d probably see a major drop off of all G traffic or you’d be banned. )

    Enter some of those phrases into Google, Y!, etc., and see where you rank.

    Tiger Woods has been in the news for a long time, so as Rod (33) says there is a depth of content and some of that is well linked. So it sticks. I think the long term interest in Tiger is greater than that of climategate (which is a problem) so there will always be more new Tiger content driving that trend.

    Adding to what Mark (36) said about quotes, if I enter World of Warcraft in G I get 49,600,000 site, “World of Warcraft” gets 45,200,000.

    government fraud = 21,500,000
    “government fraud” = 194,000

    climate gate 14,200,000
    “climate gate” 1,020,000

    Watt’s up with that = 11,400,000
    “Watt’s up with that” = 543,000

    Google does like authority references. Search on climategate and see which sites pop up. RC isn’t in the top 10 (when I looked,) but WUWT is. So is Wiki, Fox, etc. These are all heavy duty authority sites (whether or not you like their content)and they tend to rank for a given term better than my little blogs ever would. Air Vent would rank better than any site I put up, for the same reason, until such time as I got a lot of content and lots of good incoming links.

    Also note that about half of those top 10 site are skeptical, such as RealClearPolitics, WUWT, etc. If G was consoring then I don’t think they’d be there and RC would.

    So while it’s technically possible that G is deliberately filtering out climategate, I don’t believe that it actually is.

    By the way, you want your ad on the right side of that page? Click the “See your ad here »” at the bottom of the ads, set up your adwords account, enter your credit card info, and put your ad there. It’ll probably cost you about 10 cents per click, if you have a good site and point the ad to a good climategate page.

  40. Michael F said

    @Greg2213: Thanks for the deep background on this.

    A few questions – climategate seems to have an unusually short half-life for Google. It now comes up with 1,960,000 hits, down by roughly 300k over the course of the day, per my searches out of the US.

    Another search term with roughly the same arc of buildup and decline has been “Philippines volcano,” but it scores much less on the “search volume index” (per Google Trends, accessed roughly the time of this comment). This was a story that generally centered on the Mayon volcano. This flared up and now has declined in stories after the volcano didn’t go, but it still gets 2.3 million hits on Google – about what climategate was getting just this morning – but with a lower search index. What gives? I’ll continue to track but it looks odd. Would it be a factor that more “.gov” type sites over in the Philippines would link stories to it? I didn’t think their web presence was that deep. Just curious.

    I understand Jeff’s urge to jump on this rapidly. Their algos look like they are playing funny here – but like everything, a little transparency by Google will go a long way.

  41. Mark said

    Micheal F, they are playing funny. A slowdown of interest, in a matter of a month, does not reduce the page counts that Google indexes. Pick any boring term and you’ll see that they are indexing ALL pages, no matter how insignificant.

    For example, there are 8.5 million hits for “table cloth” (and that is even in quotes). Has there been a massive sustaining of interest in table cloth lately?

    Hell, there are even over three million pages for Meatloaf. I know both the food and the singer are not very popular.

    Look, I understand Search Engine Optimization and understand how the search engines work. They simply do not remove the counts of pages like this.

  42. greg2213 said

    Something else to consider is that a lot of the climategate posts were reposts of the emails and not original content. I expect that a lot of the dropped pages are these duplicates of the email posts. G’s system doesn’t see the need for 50,000 copies of a post. Note that you can still find all kinds of climategate info on Google.

    Since Google does have a duplicate content filter (their page is here) and since a lot of climategate content was (probably) reprints of various parts of those emails I think that the dropped pages were hit by that filter.

    Also, I think (opinion only) that a lot of the discussion has moved from climategate to related/other topics as interested people search for more. This means that no new content is being generated on that subject. So we have little new content, declining search interest, and clipping of duplicate posts.

    If you issue a press release on (topic) you will probably see a peak where a lot of those articles are indexed, but if you look sometime later a lot of those will probably be gone.

    I also think that if G was censoring sites then you’d see different sites in the top 10 results when searching for climategate.

    Mark (41,) since you know about the SEs I assume you know about the famed and feared “Google Dance.” I expect “climategate” will dance around a bit for awhile, especially if people keep paying attention to it.

  43. John McLean said

    Google’s Swiss website currently says “about 2,950,000” for climategate (one word).

  44. Lucke said gives (100111 09.01 local SE time) ;

    Autosuggest lists ;
    climategate 18,200,000

    But when pressing “google search” we see only;

    Results 1 – 10 of about 3,010,000 for climategate. (0.22 seconds)

  45. PaulM said

    Well google uk is now showing over 18M hits for climategate.
    Better still, if you type clim into the box, climategate comes up second on the auto-suggest list after climate change.

  46. Josualdo said

    I may have done something wrong, but Bing in English, used from Portugal, only produces 3.140.000 hits for “climategate”.

  47. Michael F said

    Back up to 2,220,000 when searching out of the US as of this morning.

  48. Flame said

    Down to 2,090,000 and still dropping

  49. Jeff Id said


  50. Jeff Id said

    2,030,000 9:30PM

  51. Lucke said @ 100113 08.30;

    Results 1 – 10 of about 1,830,000 for climategate. (0.32 seconds)

  52. john said

    My brother in law lost more than $100K due to identity fraud. Sadly, he will never be repaid and is liable for some of those bills.

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