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This morning at Search Engine Land the team and I published a response to the Wall Street Journal’s story on Google Search. You can read my story named Misquoted and misunderstood: Why we, the search community, don’t believe the WSJ about Google search.
I am not going to repeat everything written in my story or the WSJ story. I tried my best to go through point-by-point and explain how Google Search really works in that story. The WSJ really did a horrible and sad job bringing up conspiracy theories without any evidence. The worst part, they quoted a bunch of folks who have said they were either misquoted or misunderstood – or both.
Let me now just go through the reaction to the story I published on Search Engine Land – so you can see the difference of opinions. But again, first go read my story at Search Engine Land please so this makes sense.
Barry did a great job of providing a foundation for his expertise, which the WSJ failed to do completely.
— Bill Slawski ⚓ (@bill_slawski) November 18, 2019
Ugh. I was interviewed for this WSJ piece. The reporter seemed fixed on proving that Google was manually inserting big brands at the top of the results.
She was disappointed when I shared with her that in the example she gave the top organic result had hundreds of good links. https://t.co/zBzqkUWxOi
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) November 18, 2019
I believe this is a reflex of how much the common user understands search, and search engines.
While most of the piece is slanted or biased, many professionals will know what the editor meant, or what’s implicit.
For the common user, some exaggerations might not be as clear. https://t.co/jXTL9NxRPa
— Pedro Dias: ~/pedro$ (@pedrodias) November 18, 2019
I love how we get tweets of veterans saying how Google “may” do auto-complete. WSJ article was out of line & inaccurate on most things.. what it should have said is how tech issues are overlooked for big brands while startups and SMEs have to meet tech guidelines to the dot
— Thomas Agius (@GozitanTommy) November 18, 2019
Via Barry Schwartz @rustybrick https://t.co/jc6GcKk1qR
— Lubin Bisson (@Qzedia) November 18, 2019
Yep, they really missed the mark with this one. “In the end, the WSJ’s report is an embarrassing piece of “journalism” and a missed opportunity” -> Misquoted & Misunderstood: Why We Don’t Believe The @WSJ About Google Search by @rustybrick via @sengineland https://t.co/NVYX7iOrTo
— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) November 18, 2019
— Online Marketing Bureau Stramark (@stramark) November 18, 2019
— Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) November 18, 2019
Read the search community’s reply to the hack piece on Google by the @WSJ . An honorable newspaper would retract and correct the misquotations. https://t.co/jYvopSjhhi
— Keith Goode (@keithgoode) November 18, 2019
WSJ & Google: @glenngabe @rustybrick Consequences: “The WSJ lost all credibility with this article. They won’t survive as a serious source of news in my mind ever again. They are writing about a topic with an expertise that they don’t have & writing gibberish.” – @bill_slawski https://t.co/rBwOYgnJ9A
— Jeannie Hill (@essentialskill) November 18, 2019
WSJ has an angle. Just look at its owner Rupert Murdoch. Yeah, that guy. They want folks to not trust Google re: its crown jewel, search. Barry Schwartz is a search expert. He knows what he is talking about except as it relates to adult search where no one knows anything. https://t.co/WaPlQiIPxd
— Cheryl Black (@Hushes) November 18, 2019
— James Kelly (@threeohjuan) November 18, 2019
Sources for WSJ story on Google’s search algorithm say reporters violated off-the-record terms for conversation, misquoted what was said, misunderstood how Google’s algorithms work, and based story on a sample of only 17 words tested over a brief period. https://t.co/dD9csUBRUj
— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) November 18, 2019
Way to screw this up @WSJ https://t.co/cpp85LcY64
— Kyle Byers (@Kyle_Byers) November 18, 2019
A far better take on the recent WSJ piece in which @glenngabe was misquoted. https://t.co/Cx8ZgTA3ca
— Azeem (@AzeemPPC) November 18, 2019
We need better paid, better educated, better and deeper researching #journalists aka more time. Not just for SEO. https://t.co/HXwjgCY8A5
— Christoph C. Cemper 🧡 SEO (@cemper) November 18, 2019
Hey @WSJ I feel really pity for you for your lack of knowledge about Google Search’s working but look @rustybrick did exactly what you wanted to do@glenngabe next time when you give interview to these illiterate journos better use your phone’s recoder :)https://t.co/LRmvbtmJeK
— 𝐑𝐚𝐣𝐞𝐞𝐯 𝐋𝐞𝐤𝐡𝐰𝐚𝐫 (@PanditRajeev22) November 18, 2019
Solid reporting from .@rustybrick – unlike the .@wsj and their reporters, one of which handles, both Google and sparking water news, so you know he’s got the depth to handle this kind of math. https://t.co/nyQKX7VUQ4
— Jeff Ferguson (@CountXero) November 18, 2019
— Lily Grozeva (@lilygrozeva) November 18, 2019
Good to see the #SEO community standing up against awful practices and ignorant claims. https://t.co/L6aLmWtIC8
— Micah Fisher-Kirshner (@micahfk) November 18, 2019
This is a fantastic recap / reaction of the @WSJ article about Google Search. Take a look. 👇 https://t.co/mVuCRSt1DI
— Drew Marlier (@drewmarlier) November 18, 2019
While the article had some valid points, the author took many liberties and stretched information with other topics. #SEO https://t.co/pRI28GD5PU
— Octiv Digital (@octivdigital) November 18, 2019
Upon reading the article, I realized I had been interviewed as well, by one of the contributing writers. Now thankful my name didn’t appear in the final product.
— Mark Traphagen is 🏠 (@marktraphagen) November 18, 2019
Well done @rustybrick. Let’s hope the folks at the WSJ take a had look at their reporting after this: https://t.co/sPli2k4d9q
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) November 18, 2019
Disappointing to see a publication as lauded as the @WSJ publish such an inaccurate depiction of how search engines work. Well-stated rebuttal, @rustybrick.#GoodJournalists #CheckYourSources and do your #DueDiligence; any less is a denigration of journalism as an institution. https://t.co/tgZepClFww
— Tyler Trent (@ttrent_RDI) November 18, 2019
— Tim Windsor (@timwindsor) November 18, 2019
If you caught that WSJ story on Google search last week, this is a must read. @rustybrick is a gem and this story from him proves why I think so highly of Barry & his work: https://t.co/x2ppOBG4CR
— amy gesenhues (@amygesenhues) November 18, 2019
I was seriously going to subscribe to the @WSJ. F that S. Their piece about GOOG Search is bizarro. Their editorial integrity is shot IMHO. https://t.co/EH6zsYt5LW
— Eric Van Buskirk (@ericvanbuskirk) November 18, 2019
Very rational approach, good job on the rebuttal. Almost like good journalism should be!
— Gil Gildner (@gilgildner) November 18, 2019
The @wsj and @murraymatt should correct their report “How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms” published Nov 15. Although, I take issue with some of Google’s practices in other areas (workplace, antitrust etc.), the WSJ piece is factually wrong. @lauren_feiner https://t.co/BDeH8nmJcv
— Nicholas McDonough🔍 (@Callmenicholi) November 18, 2019
This is why I follow you. Nice job and thanks. That WSJ article was long winded and wrong in so many ways.
*Also, this whole situation where SEOs are defending Google is so much like siblings, “We can pick on Google for issues, but you outside the industry can’t.”
— Lea Scudamore (@LeaScudamore) November 18, 2019
— Eli Schwartz (@5le) November 18, 2019
Thanks @rustybrick for the clear-eyed response to Friday’s “news’.
Misquoted and misunderstood: Why we, the search community, don’t believe the WSJ about Google search https://t.co/jlamUrztsT via @sengineland
— ianschaefer (@ianschaefer) November 18, 2019
This is now Shari’s best article of 2019. https://t.co/zTbEttxjS9
— Shari Thurow (@sharithurow) November 18, 2019
A great follow-up by @rustybrick on the recent WSJ story written by people who have no idea what #SEO is but have huge biases against #Google. Check it out: Why we, the search community, don’t believe the WSJ about Google search https://t.co/isdqB3ZYTc via @sengineland
— Kristina Azarenko (@azarchick) November 18, 2019
Sadly it seems that @wsj has been sucked into opinion “news” instead of true journalism. An unfortunate sign of the times. Nice response @rustybrick. Thanks for all the work you do with SEO. https://t.co/CAPCzpLdTr
— Mike Farney (@cuseXC) November 18, 2019
Bollocks. Plenty of us think the WSJ article, while flawed, makes many damn good points. I have more issue with this broad generalisation of what ‘the search community’ believes. https://t.co/n2VIy4JxGK
— Barry Adams (@badams) November 18, 2019
With all respect for your work, but “we” are not representing the search community. Chosen one sindrom guys.
— Goran Majic (@Goran_Majic) November 18, 2019
Some parts were right, some were wrong/misinterpreted. The article is still a net positive (for users) in my opinion.
— SEOwner (@tehseowner) November 18, 2019
Why should you be sorry? @rustybrick “misquoted” the search industry by saying we’re all in agreement over the rebuttal. Also, linking to Google sources without real evidence isn’t far off from what the wsj did. Both articles are heavily slanted with no real proof.
— David Sottimano (@dsottimano) November 18, 2019
Anyway – I think it is important for you all to read what the WSJ published and the response and make up your own mind.
Forum discussion at Twitter.