As many Catholics already know, the articles on this site have been read millions of times, in virtually every country of the world. For many years, they were routinely the #1 result (depending on your search-terms, of course) on search engines all around the globe.
But a year or two ago, the number of visits to this site abruptly began to decline dramatically. Web-techies investigated, and found nothing technologically amiss. That’s when a few simple tests revealed that Google’s search engine–which is the one most used by readers accessing this site–had suddenly erased numerous articles from their search results altogether.
Here’s an example: for many years, if you typed into a search engine what does defrock mean? the #1 result was “What Does it Mean to ‘Defrock’ a Priest?” And that made perfect sense, since the article not only directly answers the question, but it also had already been read tens of thousands of times, driving it even further to the top of the list. Suddenly, however, typing those exact search terms into Google brought up hundreds of other results, most of them far less relevant … and the article from this site didn’t show up at all.
In more recent months, if you typed can bishops cancel Masses into a search engine other than Google, it immediately brought up “Do Bishops Have the Authority to Cancel Masses Completely?” as the top result. But if you typed those terms into Google, the article didn’t come up at all–although Google’s results did show some other Catholic websites, because they happened to cite the title of this article!
The anomalies were/are too common and too dramatic to be a coincidence. It’s hard to imagine why Google would be so anxious to prevent Catholics from finding factual, legal information about the Catholic Church–but there you have it.
Bottom line: please share links to the information on this site with others, especially if you’ve found that it has helped you. If you have a website of your own, please consider posting links to these articles, in order to help Catholics obtain the information that they’re searching the internet for.
And let’s all try to avoid using Google, shall we?