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Is Google trying to subvert the Green Party?

**EDITORS NOTE This story is updated here. In short, the Green Party national website, gp.org, was hacked. Google removed the site from their search results because of hidden links at the site put there by unauthorized people. According to software engineers at Google, the same person or people did this to quite a few sites. The gp.org website is no longer hacked.**

A search using the Google search engine for the terms
Green Party
“Green Party”
or gp.org
does not generate any links to the Green Party of the United States webpage. None at all.

With the elections only days away, this presents a real problem for Green Party candidates. A voter searching for their local or state Green Party or Green Party candidates will not find any links to the national party if they use any of these search word strings.

A phone call to Google’s Mountain View offices sent me into voice mail hell, so I sent a fax to their number. Their fax number is 1 650-253-0001

They also have offices across the nation. To find one close to you, please visit this link.

Bing and Yahoo! still place gp.org at the top of their search results, but gp.org is not to be found anywhere in Google’s results.

If you are a Google investor, please use your contacts in investor relations to find out what has happened here.

Green Party Watch News Network

Green activists reporting on Green Party candidates, chapters, committees and issues.

29 Comments

  1. Glad to hear it Jason. We should definitely get a press release out *tomorrow* about this. A story at znet, an appearance on Good Morning America, and a piece on The Daily Show *might* make up for this.

    Personally, I don’t think Google is screwing with us, but rather that someone has hacked them…to screw with us.

  2. This is very annoying. I hope Google fixes this pronto considering Google pretty much has 60%+ of the market share in web browser use!

  3. Not even gp.org is coming up with a website. What is going on? I too suspect a hack, which should concern Google to no end!

  4. You know, I would caution against sound TOO offended or outraged because I think that will only marginalize us.

    “oh the Greens are just whining over nothing”

    We should definitely point it out and protest, but let’s go easy on the dramatics I think.

    It’s without a doubt very serious, but again there are more important issues out there to be outraged about.

  5. I don’t think any of us are over reacting Walter. Three days without a link this close to the elections is a BIG deal. Not only that, either Google is screwing with us, which I *seriously* doubt, or someone else is screwing with them to screw with us, or else their software has a major flaw…all of which should concern Google themselves quite a bit as Michal points out.

  6. If we can’t be found on google, that is huge. It is like a business not being in the phone book (years ago). How will we be found? This is a good time to encourage everyone who supports the Green Party to add a link on their own web site to GP.

    Even searching for “10 Key Values” doesn’t pull us up. We have been completely erased from google, the major source for people to find us.

  7. When I used Google’s “advance search” feature, and asked it to search for the words “Green Party” at the site gp.org, this is what I got back:

    Your search – Green Party site:gp.org – did not match any documents.

    Your search – Cynthia McKinney site:gp.org – did not match any documents.

    Your search – Ralph Nader site:gp.org – did not match any documents.

    I must note, gp.org IS up and running, and has been all the time over the past three days.

    I think Matt makes an excellent point. All Green Party associated websites, local, state, campaign, blogs etc, should link to gp.org.

    BTW Matt…I simply LOVE New Menu.

  8. Yep. Same here Chicago Voter. Only problem is, that’s not the Green Party of the United States. That is a small group which is separate from the GPUS. As their sait says,

    All membership payments and donations go to The Greens/Green Party USA and not to any candidate or candidate’s authorized committee or to direct electoral activity.

    Some of their members, and some of their chapters engage in electoral politics, but they are not the GPUS…so in a way, that’s even worse than if there were no links at all.

  9. “I just ran green party and the first hit was http://www.greenparty.org

    That’s like searching for the Democratic Party and getting a link to a group called Democratic Party USA that is separate from the Democrats we all know. Not cool.

    Still, I find this headline overly sensational, at least in the absence of evidence that google is intentionally trying to sabotage the GP.

  10. I was vaguely aware the Green Party USA was smaller separate group from the GPUS, so I thought that it was strange that it would come up as the first hit and that the Illinois affiliate of the GPUS would come up as the third hit.

    I agree with the people saying that the headline is over sensational and could cause people to refer to Green party members. In all honest I dont think that google would purposely try to subvert the Green Party, something that if it become public could hurt their image, or for that matter that anyone at google would care enough to do it.

    If a group, in particular google itself, was purposely trying to prevent people from finding GPUS website I wouldn’t think that the Illinois, California, New York, Florida, Texas affiliates would be in the top hits if you google Green Party

  11. Just a thought — does the gp.org site have any thing anywhere on it like robots.txt file?

    Or any files that deter the scanning by automatic processes? If so, that could explain it. Odd that Goggle hasn’t responded, though.

  12. Well, Google may not have been aware until they got my fax Sunday night, although from what Jason says above, the national office has been trying to find out what’s happening for a few days.

    The headline asks the question. It does not state that Google is trying to subvert the Green Party. But I do think it’s pretty clear that someone has messed with Google in some way. For the sites to be GONE…absolutely nothing at all, when the site is up and has been for years, hardly seems usual.

    “Ten Key Values” “Green Party” “Green Party of the United States” “gp.org” “gpus.org”…all of these searches brings not a single link to gp.org or gpus.org.

    I asked the question, and go to great lengths to say that I think there is a problem. Is the question not a fair one? If it’s even just a low level employee who has messed with their system, is the question still not valid?

  13. The text below has been faxed to Google + posted in their help forums … will let you know how they respond

    Last month I tested out the demo Google Site Search for a client. It worked great, returning results from static, ssi and dynamic pages. After getting permission to integrate into their site, yesterday I tested it out again in anticipation in adding it. Much to my surprise, this time the search returned zero results, even when searching for words found on the top of the home page.

    I then ran a normal Google search on my client’s name and they did not come up in the found results. A search for their domain name, gp.org, fails to return any results pointing to their site.

    My client’s site (gp.org) has been online at least since 2000. The total number of hits for the site yesterday was 110574, so Google’s inability to find the site has nothing to do with lack of traffic. 

    Any ideas on what’s going on? Considering that the normal Yahoo search as well as the integrated yahoo site search are both working indicates that the problem resides on google’s servers.

  14. Hi Gregg,

    I am from Google’s web search quality team. It appears that the gp.org site was removed from our results because it has been hacked. If you look at the HTML source code for http://gp.org/ and search for the word “viagra”, you’ll see what is going on.

    We sent an email to the gp.org webmaster last Monday (th 19th) on this subject as well as notifying them in the google webmaster tools console. If you have any better way of contacting them, please let me know. You should now have my email address.

    In the meantime, I’ve reinstated the site in our index, but it may take as much as a day before it starts showing again.

  15. So it turns out that gp.org was hacked to include hundreds of malicious links. Google tried to drop you an email, and if you register with google.com/webmasters we also left a message for you about the hacked site in our free webmaster information console.

    I’m a software engineer at Google and you have my email address via this comment–let me know if you have any questions about cleaning up the hacked content.

  16. Thanks for your article. I thought it was just my problem. Last week, all links to my name on google news were wiped out. I’m the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada and former leader of the Green Party of British Columbia (also the first Green Party leader on televised leaders’ debates and co-founder of the GPBC, which I believe was the first Green Party in North America). You used to put “Adriane Carr” in google news and get hundreds of links. Now, there’s not one link. If someone has an answer or solution, please let me know. More details on the problems you or other Greens are facing would be good, too, as I would like to take this to the media.

  17. I think that you should–at the very least–post an update at the top of this silly post explaining that this issue was NOT Google’s fault; it was your inability to manage your own website that resulted in being de-indexed. Sheesh. Get a clue.

  18. Allen,

    It wasn’t “our” website that was hacked, it was the Green Party’s website. Green Party Watch is an independent site that is not affiliated with gp.org.

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