Google De-lists AntiPolygraph.org on Key Search Terms

Search DuckDuckGo for “polygraph” and you’ll find that AntiPolygraph.org, which hosts more documentation on polygraphs than any other site on the Internet, and you’ll find AntiPolygraph.org in the top 10 results. The same is true for searches on “polygraph” with Microsoft’s Bing search engine (in the United States), with Russia’s Yandex search engine, and with the open-source searX search engine.

But search Google for “polygraph” and you very likely will not be shown any links to any pages on AntiPolygraph.org.

This has not always been true. For years since going online in 2000, AntiPolygraph.org was Google’s top search result for “polygraph.” Eventually, the Wikipedia article titled “Polygraph” took the number 1 spot, but AntiPolygraph.org long remained among the top 10.

Then, around the time the federal government launched Operation Lie Busters, which targeted the owners of websites that provided information on how to pass (or beat) a polygraph “test” for entrapment and criminal prosecution, AntiPolygraph.org’s Google ranking for “polygraph” slipped, often appearing on the second, third, or later pages of results. AntiPolygraph.org has reason to believe that co-founder George Maschke was targeted in Operation Lie Busters, and that visitors to AntiPolygraph.org have been the target of electronic eavesdropping.

AntiPolygraph.org provides documentation on polygraphy that the U.S. government’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies do not want the public — especially those who face polygraph “testing” — to know, including the precise questions asked in various polygraph techniques (PDF), how to pass or beat a polygraph “test” (PDF), and the federal government’s unscientific and ineffective methodology for attempting to detect polygraph countermeasures.

In 2018, it appears that Google has effectively de-listed AntiPolygraph.org for such relevant keywords as “polygraph” and “lie detector.” We first noticed this early in the year; the de-listing has persisted for at least four months.

Google Search Analytics shows that from 29 March 2018 to 26 June 2018, there were no clicks via Google searches on “polygraph” to any page on AntiPolygraph.org:

There were only 7 clicks via Google searches on “lie detector” to any page on AntiPolygraph.org:

Similarly, there were zero clicks via Google searches on “polygraphs” or “lie detectors.”

For comparison purposes, during the same period, there were 165 clicks via Google searches on the exact phrase “where to find underage porn,” even though the linked page does not remotely address this question:

It seems that something is not kosher here. AntiPolygraph.org is a non-profit, public interest website. We host no advertising and we don’t engage in spam, link-farming, or other abusive practices.

Reader thoughts are welcome.

Update (30 June 2018): The situation appears to be worse than we imagined, as illustrated in this screenshot from Google Search Console Beta:

The chart shows that over the past 16 months, Google reports 146,576 impressions for the search word “polygraph,” with an average position of 8.4, but only 381 total clicks, for an average click through rate of just 0.3%!

11 thoughts on “Google De-lists AntiPolygraph.org on Key Search Terms”

    1. I think that you don’t understand the actual definition of Free Speech as written in your constitution. It applies to Congress and the US Government, not private citizens or their companies.

      1. Are you stupid? It applies to Google when they remove shit under threat from the government!

        1. You might believe it is broad, but read the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; … .” We don’t know exactly why this has happened. But if Google chooses to comply with any government request, whether legal or not, or indeed to follow any whim of its own including terms it puts in its contract giving it unlimited discretion to suppress what it likes (which may be the real cause here, not a specific government request!), Google’s action is not covered.

          And in addition, the application of 1st Amdt to Congress’ law making power, and thus to what laws are valid, is not absolute: i.e., certain forms of speech, including defamation and terror or death threats, are unlawful. What may be characterized here as instructions in how to commit or evade responsibility for certain serious crime may fall within one of these sort of exceptions, in the view of government.

          The real issue is that Google’s arbitrary private power to censor for any reason, without any external explanation or scrutiny, is almost absolute. It can take into account anything it likes, including hints, requests or suggestions from anyone. It hates to do this, so it tends to ignore most external suggestions, but the exceptions are up to it.

        1. But the government pressuring g Google doesn’t count as the government restricting speech?

          1. Not unless you have evidence that is indeed what is happening and the reasoning is not of another nature.

      2. …which establishes limits on Congress and States such that they cannot control the public’s (including individuals, businesses, and corporations) political and religious discourse.

        This website likely falls under “expressive content”, which is recognized as protected by the first amendment.

  1. Google is in cohoots with the NSA. The NSA likes to monitor people and everyone uses Google and Google products, so Google basically has the key to everyone’s personal life. Since the countermeasures described on Antipolygraph.org to beat the polygraph work very well, and all the details to the FBI/CIA/NSA/Secret Service and other polygraphs are on the Antipolygraph.org website, the U.S. government probably told Google to block the search results that link the search term “polygraph” to the Antipolygraph.org website. The U.S. government wants to stop the dissemination of the polygraph secrets, but it is too late. I beat a federal polygraph, and I have been telling others how to do the same. Do not confess to anything, expect to be brashly interrogated and accused of lying, and use the mental countermeasures when needed (control questions, or different irrelevant questions as described in the Antipolygraph.org “The Lie Behind the Lie Detector Book”). I am a bit disappointed in Google, they usually never censor anything. Even my favorite dirty porn fetishes show up when searched. Come on Google, don’t be bullied by the federal government!

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