Dr. Google’s Prescription: Censorship

February 20, 2020

This search engine monopolist is preventing you from learning about natural health, and instead promoting prescription drugs. Action Alert!

Last year, we told you about the aggressive censorship campaign that Google and other Internet gatekeepers have embarked upon. This censorship is preventing Americans from learning about the benefits of natural health from some of the most reliable and trustworthy voices, such as Dr. Joseph Mercola. In a stunning article, Dr. Mercola shows objective evidence of the shameful censorship that his site has been subjected to by Google. Lawmakers are starting to take notice of this trend, but it remains unclear how these efforts will shake out.

The evidence at this point is incontrovertible. Dr. Mercola explains that much of his success as a physician was due to his ability to treat arthritis, and a popular article describing his arthritis protocol was consistently high on the list of search items for “arthritis.” Do that search today, however, and you won’t find that article. The top result, even when you search “Mercola arthritis,” is a Croatian website that copied, without permission, Dr. Mercola’s arthritis article in its entirety. Dr. Mercola’s site ranks 9,002 in global internet engagement; the Croatian site ranks 9,401,920.

Simply put, Google gives precedence to a site with a relevance ranking that is 1,000 times lower than Dr. Mercola’s site. This clearly runs contrary to the guidelines that Google claims to use in ranking internet content.

The censorship goes even further than that. Restricted searches (such as ‘mercola.com arthritis’) should allow you to search for the most popular pages within a site. But performing such a search on Google gives you results mainly from Dr. Mercola’s veterinary site, which obviously has very little relevance to the initial search.

WebMD and Healthline are two sites that currently seem to dominate health-related Google searches. But the only thing “trustworthy” about these sites is that they can be relied upon to try to sell us drugs. WebMD was caught in 2010 providing users with a  fake quiz meant to screen for depression in which 100% of respondents ended up having a “high likelihood of major depression” and were directed to talk to their physician about treatment. The quiz was sponsored by Eli Lilly, which makes the depression drug Cymbalta. A search through WebMD’s pages on depression shows that they contain ads for antidepressant drugs.

These kinds of sites are where Google is directing people who search for health topics online—places where pharmaceutical companies buy ads to peddle their dangerous drugs.

Google used to rank pages primarily by popularity; for the most part, the more clicks your site got, or the more sites that linked to your content, the higher your Google ranking—that is, the higher your site showed up on a relevant Google search. But in this age of censorship, all that has changed. Google is now manually lowering the rankings of undesirable content with the help of third party “quality raters.” These quality raters visit websites and, as their name suggests, evaluate the quality of a website. Raters then send this information to Google engineers who update their algorithm to throttle content that is deemed of low quality.

The changes to Google’s core algorithm are having dramatic results. Google traffic to Mercola.com, the site of famed natural health advocate Joseph Mercola, MD, fell an astonishing 99% over the span of a few weeks after the algorithm changed.

There is activity on Capitol Hill regarding internet censorship, but few actual pieces of legislation yet. Antidiscrimination efforts seek to modify a section of law that protects platforms from being sued over third party content that they publish or share. This may have the undesirable effect of ending public engagement on many platforms: since companies would be liable for the content, sites may simply shut down comment sections altogether, for example. We will closely monitor developments and update readers on actionable legislation or initiatives.

Action Alert! Write to Congress, and tell them to do more to address Internet censorship by monopolies. Please send your message immediately.

82 responses to “Dr. Google’s Prescription: Censorship”

  1. Lucy Doil says:

    In this day and age of censorship, attacks on our freedoms of speech and right to bear arms, why would you choose to join those trying to destroy our nation, our freedoms and our country?
    You have the capability of exposing the evil and promoting the good, shame on you for censoring the natural methodologies and promoting the lies of pharmaceuticals!

  2. Mark Smith says:

    Please don’t put your fingers on the scale of truth.

  3. Karen Brashears says:

    Allow us access to uncensored information please! We are not Russia or China….yet. Although trump is working as hard as he can to make us that way.

  4. David Baltimore, MD, ND says:

    It is now widely known that Google is a fascist enterprise for profit.

  5. I think this is horrible. I have no intention to killing myself with prescription drugs that do not fix any problem. Only mask the symptoms.

  6. Patrick McIntosh says:

    Dr Google wants to Scroogle us all!

  7. Dr. Catherine Smith says:

    This sort of censorship is totally unacceptable. You have no right to keep people from looking for and choosing alternative types of medication. Prescriptions are not the only option!!

  8. Dave K Mills says:

    do more to address Internet censorship by monopolies

  9. Shaun Englehart says:

    Thank you for bringing this issue to more people’s attention. I have long been a subscriber to Dr. Mercola’s newsletter and visit his website directly so I know how invaluable his information is. I also tell people to visit his site directly, so it is a shame that most who don’t know the names of natural healing websites will never find them under Google search.

  10. BERN PEDIT says:

    Not only Google – I am facebooks hit list and have been warned about my profile image, political postings, and prevented from sharing posts (in one instance an art cartoon that had nothing to do with politics). I have directed persons interested in my photographs to the to the internet only to find that Google has dropped more than half of the references to me in the last year alone – almost as if I am fading out of existence rather than growing in the know of others.

  11. Scott Jon says:

    Please stop the tech companies from censoring the internet.

  12. Darin Somma says:

    When Google attempts to censor information about natural and holistic health practices, it raises the question of Google’s neutrality to its service of providing objective information through the internet.

  13. Thomas Nelson says:

    Do more to address Internet censorship by monopolies such as Google.

  14. Donna Molinari says:

    I think this is disgusting – what does GOOGLE have to gain?

  15. marie scherbaum says:

    bull crap

  16. stratovarious says:

    Google operates as a public utility, the only thing that should ever be
    censored is that which is against the law.

  17. Dennis S. Janes says:

    Google MUST learn what is good not what is POWER AND PROFIT!!!

  18. Mark Smith says:

    Dr. Mercola’s site, mercola.com, is a rich source of research-based information about alternative treatments. Search returns for his site, using Google, are so poor that it’s obvious Google is essentially censoring the site.

    Please stop Google’s practices for this site, and all sites publishing research-based information on alternatives to the invasive approaches used by traditional medicine.

  19. Ted Schnackertz says:

    Another good reason why I never use the Google search engine… use Bing instead and Dr. Mercola comes up at the top with his protocol and many other articles by him…

  20. Karyn Sochacki says:

    I am a long time supporter and user of Mercola.com. Shame on Google for pandering to pharmaceutical money over true human health.

  21. Michael Bondoc says:

    Please do more to address Internet censorship by monopolies!

  22. Barb Van Dusen says:

    This oversight and big brother action is unacceptable.

  23. Lela Florel says:

    We need truthful, non filtered information from the internet, not censorship.

  24. nadine cleghorn says:

    I did a search and it popped up immediately-hmmm makes me wonder the veracity of this action alert!

  25. Karl Hamann says:

    Don’t appreciate your censorship of natural health remedies.

  26. Stan Glazner says:

    Google and other search engines are preventing me from learning about natural health therapy and treatments.Instead they promote prescription drugs. I demand the right to read all available research on the internet for alternative treatment to any condition I choose to investigate. For example, Dr. Mercola explains that much of his success as a physician was due to his ability to treat arthritis, and a popular article describing his arthritis protocol was consistently high on the list of search items for “arthritis.” Do that search today, however, and you won’t find that article.
    THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE!

  27. ANTONIA SHOUSE says:

    NO WAY! LET ME DECIDE, IF I WANTED TO LIVE UNDER A RULER WHO DECIDED FOR ME WHAT I COULD OR COULD NOT SEE, THEN BELIEVE ME I WOULD FLEE TO CHINA!

  28. John Dodge says:

    I’d call promotion of pernicious drugs while restricting naturopathic remedies censored by big pharmaceutical dollars, Google corruption low quality

  29. Dori Gerlesits says:

    If doctors were required to be educated in nutrition this may not have mushroomed to today’s dilemma.

    Since that would require additional years of school, possibly having an ND (Nutritional doctor) on staff in every doctors’ practice has reached its time. (I’m not referencing a Dietician, but a Doctor of Nutrition.)

  30. Dr. Elizabeth K Carter says:

    I think this is very scary to have this kind of censorship.

  31. Internet sites should be clear if they are biased or neutral. Therefore, if Google wishes to change their format, they should be straightforward that they promote drugs, prescriptions, rather than offering alternative information. This is deceitful and promotes unfair presentations to real answer to the choices people have inherently.

  32. Audrey Toll says:

    You are absolutely right. I’ve been buying and reading Dr. Mercola for years. I just go directly to him. Never have to use google. Man what has happened to this country? I almost don’t want to vote. I read you and will go directly to you too.

  33. Charlotte says:

    I use my freedoms and do NOT ever use Google. I have decreased Facebook to almost nothing. If others would do the same, Google might get the message we are tired of them pushing their agendas on us. There are other better search engines!

  34. miriam says:

    Please stop censorship that doesn’t allow all sides of thoughts be known.

  35. Linda Tabb says:

    GOO NEEDS TO GIVE OUT TRUTHFUL INFORMATION AND CUT THEIR CENSORSHIP.

  36. Roscoe C Peace says:

    Do more to address Internet censorship by monopolies.

  37. L. Cox says:

    Please do more to address Internet censorship that favors pharmaceutical monopolies and punishes / censors the natural health movement.

  38. Chris Guillory says:

    yes

  39. Cary says:

    luckily I was just able to get on Dr Mercola’s site to look for his take on high blood pressure BUT I already am familiar with him and know he is trustworthy, etc.
    his placement on Goggle search was about 7th or 8th EVEN THOUGH I manually typed in MERCOLA as part of my search.
    if you google Autism One (THE international conference, filled with PhD heavy weights, etc) the very first listing you get is someone organizing a protest against the ‘annual quack fest’. wth? its sickening.
    thanks ANH for continuing to inform and empower!

  40. Lance says:

    Google, Facebook, etc are not public services any longer. Revenue is king. Just go to Doctor Mercola site. What’s the big deal?

  41. Jerry L Daniel, Sr says:

    Natural medicine has done much for me. While I do take some prescription meds, I totally believe in the use of good natural medicines. For instance, I drink a natural leaf tea that lowers my sugar level by as much as 90 points, when needed. Thank you, Lord, for your blessings in natural medicine.

  42. Terry R. Carlson says:

    Google needs to be hauled into court for ANTITRUST!!

    Censorship must STOP NOW!

  43. Irene Dobronski says:

    I was not able to send the letter to my US Senators and Congressperson I need help to do so. Thank you

    • Josiane Swartz says:

      You need to click on the green Take Action rectangle & it will take you to being able to send a letter to the senators . I am not much tech oriented so I hope this helps. I just sent my letter

  44. Drew Keller says:

    Internet censorship has to end. Google, and other companies should now be considered “publishers”, thus being held to the same standards as other publications and news outlets.

  45. Marshall Lefford says:

    This kind of censorship is unlawful. It’s also detestable..
    Google has no right to censor, or re-direct searches to send people to drug-pushing sites.. The integrity of these professionals who shed light on illness is compromised greatly due to this It is all substantiated by extensive research and “sources” call this research unfounded and a lie
    The truth is something that we all need and I am tired of the protection of the LYING pharmaceutical companies.

  46. Daniel Medrano says:

    please address internet censorship by corporate giants like google

  47. Greg Nicholas says:

    Unacceptable

  48. Christopher L. Calkins says:

    Google is out of control. All the members of its and Alphabets administration belong in prison, but we can say that about most of our politicians and Corporate America as well. Not only are we seeing the end of free speach, we can see the ENDGAME is near. Evil is upon us, so we need to fight with all our combined might for freedom of speech, Humanity and Nature.

  49. Robin Morton says:

    natural medicine should be available. everybody should have a choice

  50. Ray Rose says:

    Please stop Google from censoring websites!

  51. Patti Cassidy says:

    Having open access to all alternatives in healthcare is absolutely necessary. If google shuts the info down- there are alternative search engines. Perhaps it’s time to use them instead….

  52. Hilda Richey says:

    Last year Google and other Internet gatekeepers have embarked upon aggressive censorship.
    This censorship is preventing Americans from learning about the benefits of natural health from some of the most reliable and trustworthy voices, such as Dr. Joseph Mercola. Our right to know i being violated. Please do more to address the internet censorship by monopolies.
    Thank you.

  53. Rossen Vassilev Jr says:

    Google Search sucks. I always use DuckDuckGo.

  54. Phillip Hlavac says:

    Google: If you don’t start helping people find proven natural ways to health, they’ll be at the mercy of Big Pharma. Too broke to spend money at Google.

  55. mary boles says:

    Internet censorship by monopolies should be illegal. People should be able to see all information, both mainstream and alternative, in regard to prescriptions versus supplementation.
    Thank you for your attention in this matter.

  56. DAVID EADE says:

    I completely agree with the reviews of Google Censorship! Since Google is a major search engine company they should be “liable” for
    steering people away toward relevant searches. Clearly inner memo’s and code have “black” sites where I’m sure Dr. Mercola and other health care professionals that don’t share the affinity with Big Pharma as Google does, are black listed.
    It’s time to do more about this by threatening to “Break Up” Google and Alphabet! Furthermore, any search engine with a serious “bias” should have to undergo a “verification” neutral process. It would be similar to how “Organic” and other certification processes go. Their code would be left open to 3rd parties to verify that they have not participated in “Black” listing sites that don’t share googles affinity for drug revenue sharing.
    The verification process would be tested to see if a typical search would should pull up information that is more relevant is in fact willfully being ignored due to programming bias based on Googles’ agenda! If it’s found to be true then google must have a posted warning on all of their search engine sites that state”. Warning! This site is Biased on it’s results. Using Google search engine will bring up results that are paid for and may not provide you with the relevant information that you need. Furthermore these result can also prevent you from ascertaining the proper information for you to make an informed decision. I would call this the Prop 65 litmus test for the 21st Centruy.

  57. Cathleen Billiski says:

    I don’ t like to even use google because of what they do.

  58. dyan says:

    SO tired of censorship… THIS – the USA is suppose to have FREE SPEECH… to EVERYONE (yeah, not the haters). Knowledge – of any kind SHOULD BE AVAILABLE, and NOT buried. Those who bury or silence FREE SPEECH – do you think you are Gods – so smart. WHY? I hate to tell ya – but the directing of ppl to “better” sites, is NOT doing anyone a favor, AS IF the sites “You” suggest have all the real knowledge. Pfft, yeah right, there is swampland in FLA if interested.
    What is the reason behind it? oh, no doubt, Money ? Or perhaps you think you (or those “top” sites) are so smart that you are putting yourself in the seat of a god…. a god of money or control – both not good. Whatever… To censor is…. S I C K and psychotic…. take a step back and LOOK at it.

  59. Bruce says:

    I almost never use Google. Duck Duck Go doesn’t track you and as far as I know they don’t filter the way Google does. Do a search there for Mercola arthritis protocol and it will be on page one.

  60. d'Anne M says:

    Google has no business telling users to avoid natural health treatment and pushing pills for big pharma.

  61. Diane says:

    All censorship by the internet providers needs to cease. They (hopefully) are not “Big Brother”; they are simply providers. They deserve a reasonable fee for services, but not censorship nor fees for promoting things to people in subtle ways. This is a case of technology is convenient, but also overpowering and dangerous.

  62. Jan Ellis says:

    No monopolies are good anytime!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Beverly says:

    Stop internet censorship now!

  64. Deborah Miller says:

    No internet censorship please!

  65. Bruce Hempel says:

    I urge you to stop effectively censoring web sites for alternative health treatments and other “politically incorrect” sites by using a search algorithm that sends them to the bottom of the list of results (if at all).

  66. Cheryl Fontaine says:

    I use Duck Duck Go for my search engine….. why isn’t everyone? For the same exact reason people still support donald trump, the word “research” is not, never has been, and never will be part of their vocabulary.

  67. Eric K. says:

    STOP CENSORSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. Kim Cochran says:

    Google sucks. I have avoided google for almost a decade now and you just keep proving my point. Now if you want a fight you will get one. This is America and this monopolistic hypocritical crap isn’t going to fly anymore the light has been turned on. STOP IT.

  69. Robert Sala says:

    Typical actions from the “do no evil” corporation. Hypocrisy as usual from google.

  70. Michael Leake says:

    This is the United States. It’s absurd that Google is aggressively censoring legitimate search results, such as favoring Big Pharma-affiliated health results and blocking things like alternative health sites. Google shouldn’t have a monopoly on disseminating information–favoring some sites and completely excluding others for political or other reasons. Please take action to address internet censorship.

  71. david watson says:

    Big Health Business’ will do anything to control alternative health sites. They seem very greedy and corrupt to me. $ is seems more important than life as I .see it

  72. Chris Wrinn says:

    End the vaccine and natural health censorship NOW! This is monopolistic and worse than that, dictatorial. The internet is supposed to be open to all information. Vaccine deaths and injuries are not misinformation, anyone can look them up on VAERS. Dr Mercola is an MD, has a license to practice medicine, is a valid doctor, and yet you censor his information which is vital to the health of many people. Your reasoning is surreptitious at best as Alphabet owns a pharmaceutical company. This is outright bias. Here is a law firm that shows how many injuries people have from vaccines: Safe and Effective? See 635+ of Vaccine Injury Settlements and Compensation Amounts at mctlaw. Iatrogenic illness is responsible for over 780,000 deaths a year according to Dr Bruce Lipton, Cellular Microbiologist. Time the Pharma Cartel was censored.

  73. Josiane Swartz says:

    what country are we living in? WE should have the right to access truthful information on natural health! this kind of censorship by Google or anybody else SHOULD BE against the law! it’s obvious they are in bed with big Pharma as it’s driven by greed & money & not the well being & choice of the people. Please put a stop to this totally unacceptable behavior from google by doing the right thing to stop their monoploy & censorship as it should NOT be allowed. Thank You.

  74. Larry Giannou says:

    Google is just plain evil. This is the sort of stuff we all tried to warn people about regarding doing away with net neutrality. Here then, you all are seeing what it means IN ACTION. Our so-called government is now filled with nothing but criminals answering to only the NWO puppet masters, as is that piece of pond scum in the WH and all his appointed minions. Which means, you have no course of redress. Time is running out to put an end to these criminals and their transgressions upon our freedoms. Find your voices, learn to “see what you see, and know what you know”. And act accordingly for yours and the well being of all, indeed the planet.

  75. Lee Prouty says:

    I have stopped using Google as my search engine now for at least one year. I do NOT trust them at all.
    Cyber bullying, fascist control over the internet have forced me to find other means of gaining information.

  76. Larry Anderson says:

    What gives, I just Googled “mercola arthritis” and it brought up Dr. Mercola’s websites?

  77. ashley says:

    the same thing happened to our business due to the 2019 algorithm update, however we have nothing to do with health, natural or otherwise. We couldn’t understand how no one was visiting our site anymore, when we used to have 1-2 comment forms, leading to jobs, each and every day. Suddenly July 1st….nothing….no contact forms, no jobs received from our google ad. they would never admit what happened, even after we contacted customer service several times and they claimed they were constantly “looking into it”…I kept telling them, “something happened on July 1st!” AND THEY NEVER ADMITTED WHAT HAPPENED! I”m finding out about it from this ANH article!!!! I can’t believe this. Our business has suffered so much lost revenue. No acknowledgement or refund from them. Looking to join class-action lawsuit…if there’s not one, there needs to be. Please contact me if anyone has heard of one.

  78. Bill Schuhle says:

    Just thought I’d point out that the correct letters after Dr. Mercola’s name should be “DO” rather than “MD”.

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