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When you search for Solitaire in the search engine Google you get a direct link to a version of Patience / Klondike published by Google at the very top! I would guess that Google views this as a helpful, harmless thing to do (they offer similar instant versions of “tools and toys” like flipping a coin). Google’s version of solitaire is simple and clean. And if someone is not satisfied with the first version being presented when they search for “Solitaire” being a Google branded Patience / Klondike then maybe they’ll go lower on the results. But what if Google presented its own version of more products as the very first result, for most kinds of products that are out there? Surely there was a “flip a coin” site made by someone that saw a drop in traffic when Google decided to artificially promote their own version.
It’s their own site, so fair enough, but then why do we trust them to not hurt the results to try and keep people using their version of a given product? I don’t believe that’s their intent in this case, but I do believe this kind of action by Google with Solitaire is still questionable. None of our sites rank for solitaire (yet) so we didn’t get hurt by Google’s action, but most likely some of the other top sites did. And that sucks for them! Now I do not want the Google Gods to punish us for not praising their every move, surely they can see the harm even seemingly trivial actions like these can have on others, and how it is just that much extra doubt cast on Google’s supposed impartiality with its search results.
Google first introduced their version of solitaire to their search results in 2017. Since then it has had no meaningful changes made to it that I can tell. They also made no effort to protect it, so many sites host their own bootleg copies of Google’s version. When you search for “Google Solitaire” you’ll find a few!
Speaking of Google’s search results… back when I was a quite foolish and naive young teen in the early 2000s (I’m not that old) I e-mailed Google to complain about some offensive pages which appeared first when searching for a famous person in history. How could they allow such things, I thought! They replied. A woman who worked at Google proudly explained how Google’s search results worked (as an honest, unbiased representation of the net), and how they didn’t monkey around with it in any way (except when removing very illegal content) so that it would remain unbiased and as good as possible based on the algorithms. I was convinced! But times have surely changed. And Google surely curates results not only on Google search, but also on its products like YouTube. That's why when you search for so many topics you get videos from the legacy news channels even when the exact words are someone's personal channel! Did you know "trending" on YouTube is curated too? It's not an honest representation of what's actually trending on the site. It's plain dishonest. It did not use to be this way.
There’s not much to say about Google Solitaire. I don’t want them to remove their version — most likely some people prefer their version now. But it will still make it that much harder for people to notice our site organically within search results if we manage to become an authoritative competitor to the others within this niche. Bring it on! Even if the game is rigged we will still do our best. We will overwhelm the world with undeniable quality. 😇
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