According to Wikipedia, a controversial alternative medicine website called Natural News has been delisted from Google.  The news site confirmed being removed from Google and recently claimed that the search engine banned them due to the site was pro-Trump.

But according to Google, the site wasn’t removed for its politicall views, but because of a webmaster guidelines violation.  A Google spokesperson had this to say to Search Engine Land:

We don’t comment on individual sites, but if we find that a site violates one or more of our Webmaster Guidelines we may take manual action against it. For webmasters who have questions about their own sites, our Webmaster team provides support through platforms such as the Webmaster Forums. Once a site has remedied the problem, the webmaster can submit the site for reconsideration.

In a post by Natural News, the site said that “Google sent no warning whatsoever to our ‘webmaster tools’ email address on file with them.”  Something to keep in mind, and as some will attest to, not all penalties will receive a notification via Google Search Console.  More extreme and deceptive violations aren’t going to warrant receiving such notifications.

There are those who are suggesting that the ban is related to Googles interest in tackling the web’s “fake news” problem.  But Google doesn’t have anything in its webmaster guidelines about these types of sites.  The search engine won’t penalize or delist a web site for “fake news,” or a controversial one.  There are those who don’t like Natural News, and they aren’t sure it qualifies as fake news.

There are a number of penalties that can result in a site like Natural News being delisted or demoted, but fake news isn’t one of them.

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