It could just be me and where I’m blogging from (the South of France), but I’ve noticed an interesting romance in my search engine. There I was looking for information about Theresa May’s visit to Japan as a possible blog post so I did the search of “may abe tokyo trade deal” in Google (because I’m using a Chromebook and Chrome sneakily went back to Google after an upgrade). I got the following

Note the way all the news items come from a single source. So I did the same search in Duckduckgo

Note that in this case while the Groan is one of the sources we also have many others. That piqued my interest so I did some other searches using google.

What I found was interesting. While the Grauniad was not always the only source on Google searches, for UK related news stories it always showed up at or near the top (for US searches the usual US MSM suspects were on top and French ones were for France). Typically the Grauniad article was one of the highlighted / featured reports on what I was looking for. Often it was the only source unless you clicked on something like “more”

I wondered a bit about whether this was due to paywalls but it occurred to me that I am seeing entries from both non-paywall sites (e.g. the BBC) and various paywalled ones (e.g. the Torygraph and the FT, although not the Wapping Liar (a.k.a. The Times) ) so that probably isn’t the answer.

Now it could be that this is just an example of the Grauniad’s superdooper SEO skillz but I can’t help wondering if it’s a little more. Stories from, say the Dail FMail or the Sun rarely showed up even though both sell WAY more copies than the Grauniad. Perhaps it’s just snobbery – the Groan is a ‘respectable broadsheet’ while the Fail and the Sun are ‘tabloid trash’ – but I wonder if it is a deliberate attempt to promote a particular viewpoint i.e. soft-left statism

Or maybe it’s just a high tech romance and next year Google and the Groan will get formally hitched in the way Amazon and the Wapo did.