When people hear about our stance on mainstream media, that we prefer to rank them worse than Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo would, we get accused of creating an "echo chamber".
However the truth is that "mainstream media" is the biggest echo chamber of all time. They only echo each other's talking points, have a monolithic ideology on the world, and people who step out of line are kicked out of these media channels.
Now that wouldn't be a problem if they were smaller companies with equal chance to rank on Google, but the truth is they have a majority of the influence, and search engines exacerbate the problem.
What is mainstream media?
This chart shows the sites that are definitely considered mainstream media. But we at Result Hunter also consider media companies controlled by the same people as the other mainstream organizations, and who have a large proportion of the same journalists who venture between the companies. The reason being is they must abide by the same talking points in order to maintain their career, and you'll notice that a lot of smaller news companies are either owned by larger organizations, or essentially get all of their news from the exact same sources and journalists as the larger organizations.
How do search engines give extra emphasis to mainstream media?
Ignoring any sort of potential censorship you may or may not believe the big tech companies are doing, there are natural reasons built into the algorithms to boost big media. This happens through siterank, backlinking, and authority signals.
First of all, being mega corporations with thousands of writers, these companies are prolific. They publish thousands of articles a year and therefore have many, many opportunities to rank. That'd be fine if each of those journalists were speaking in their own voice, but instead their writings go through editorial channels at these companies that all must reflect the corporate narrative as we'll explore further on this page.
Anyways, that's a lot of voices all saying the same thing, controlled fully by humongous corporations.
The second reason, partially because of how prolific they are, and partially due to interlinking between media sites, mainstream media gets a ton of backlinks. You'll notice that any site that remotely doesn't toe the line does not get backlinks, but websites that regurgitate the mainstream media narrative do get backlinked. These backlinks are a huge ranking signal in Google for good reason, true, verified, and useful content will likely get more backlinks and improve rankings.
However due to the sheer size of the media organizations they're able to have undue power in utilizing these ranking signals back and forth.
Finally, search engines reward authority whether that's sites or authorship, and this authority is somewhat arbitrary. But since journalists must share the same narrative as the media corporations in order to be "authoritative" in the first place, you get another feedback loop.
You hear about the military-industrial complex, where the goals of private industry align with the goals of military interest, and because politicians can profit from industry they may influence military to behave in certain ways to help their investments.
There's also a huge relationship between the size of a media organization and their willingness to propagandize and advocate for more government control.
The reasons are endless from an economic standpoint, let alone a social standpoint:
Elitism - Media owners and journalists graduate from the same schools and participate in the same circles as government officials.Barriers to entry - Corporations advocate for regulation when they believe it will make it more difficult for competition to enter the market. When media companies advocate for social media or government censorship, it impacts the little guys more than the big guys, they get a bigger share of voice and make more money.Consolidation and monopoly - Humongous media companies may be worried about ramifications if they cross those in power in the government. But if they advocate for more government power, advocate for the things those in power are advocates for, then they will not be broken up or experience any other consequences.Location/Taxes - Big cities offer tax breaks and infrastructure to big media conglomerates, and they get a competitive advantage over smaller companies who do not get tax breaks and further infrastructure support. These media companies then hire individuals from these big cities, which all happen to vote the same way and believe in the same ideologies.
The point isn't to convince you whether more of less government is good or bad. The point is that you consider the reasons why media corporations may be an echo-chamber, and a dangerous one at that.
Now let's talk specifics because it's important to see for yourself in action, when big media silences dissenting voices and creates an echo chamber.
Examples of Mainstream Media Advocating Against Free Speech and Stepping Out of Line