Arizona GOP Secretary Of State Candidate Insists ‘Deep State’ Google Is Blocking His Website; Turns Out He Requested It Not Be Indexed
from the stupidity-or-incompetence dept
These days, the conspiracy-minded GOP candidates (who seem to be an increasing majority of the party right now) seem to believe that there needs to be a conspiracy against them or they’re just not that important. It can be the deep state, big tech, or the “woke banks” or whatever, but someone must be coming to get them. It’s all nonsense. Mark Finchem is the GOP candidate in Arizona for Secretary of State. If he wins, he’ll be one of a distressingly high number of politicians in charge of future elections who believes — against all facts and evidence — that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Such people can do an awful lot of damage.
Anyway, this week Finchem insisted that Google and its “deeps state algorithm” was blocking his campaign website to try to stymie his campaign:
And it is true that if you search for his campaign website on Google, you come up empty (though you do find lots of other stuff about him, including his lies about the 2020 election). However as Grid News figured out, the reality is not just different, but (for yet another reason) raises serious questions about Finchem’s competence. It turns out that Finchem’s campaign inserted a “noindex” meta tag… telling Google not to index it or show it in search. I mean, it’s right there for anyone to see:
If you can’t see that image, it’s a screenshot of the source code on his website, showing some of the meta tags, and it looks like they used the AIOSEO plugins to setup their SEO tags. In this case, they chose to block search engines, as seen in the meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow, max-image-preview:large">
This leads to one of two possible conclusions. Option one is that Finchem is so desperate to be seen as being oppressed that he literally (if hamfistedly) had his campaign block Google from indexing his site so he could claim to be deplatformed from Google.
Or, option two is that the guy who might soon be in charge of Arizona state elections is so incompetent and so stupid that he accidentally blocked Google from searching his website:
I honestly can’t decide which possibility is more damning. As Grid notes, it looks like this deliberate change to Finchem’s website was made somewhere in mid-July, because that meta tag wasn’t there before that.
They also got an appropriately dry comment from Google basically saying if Finchem wants to be “replatformed” he should, uh, remove his own tag telling Google to deplatform him:
“The webmaster for this site has instructed Google and other search engines not to include the site’s homepage in our search results by using a ‘noindex’ directive,” the spokesman said in an email to Grid. “If a site wishes to appear in search results, they can remove the ‘noindex’ directive.”
Of course, this won’t actually matter to many of his supporters and many in the nonsense-peddling parts of the Trumpist world. I imagine we’re going to be hearing for months about how Google “censored” this guy, when the truth is he appears to have chosen to deliberately “censor” himself and then blame others for it.