This article is a PSA on how to find the most accurate holistic health info online. While it diverges a bit from my usual articles, I think this information is really important to get out there. And since I was unaware of this info until a few weeks, ago, I imagine you might not be aware of it either…In fact, I’m SO passionate about stopping injustices and righting wrongs, I had to share what I’ve recently learned.
If you’re like most people who want to find a holistic health solution to a medical issue you might be having, you might hop on Google and do a search, right? But when you push that search button you might not be getting the results you’re looking for. With so much info online these days, how do you know if what you’re reading is accurate, reliable info, or fake health news? And is it possible that your access to accurate holistic health info is actually being censored?
I was shocked when I heard rumors that Google has recently started censoring search results pertaining to holistic health and wellness. How can that be? This is America! We have freedom of speech! Those thoughts and more were running through my head.
Your First Amendment Rights and Internet Searches
But our First Amendment rights, as they pertain to censorship, do not apply to Google which is a private company not part of the government.(1) It turns out they can censor anything they want. And they can serve us up any information they choose in our searches… Including not serving us the information we are searching for. Could this really be happening? It’s so George Orwell and 1984!
Buyer beware: Google is providing you with a free service when you use it. And it can do anything it wants with the data it’s collecting and serving back…Yikes! So why might Google be tampering with searches on Holistic Health topics?
Accusations have come from well-known people in the holistic wellness realm. Sayer Ji, a widely recognized researcher, author, and lecturer on holistic health and wellness has had his GreenMedInfo.com site banned from Google searches. As has Dr. Mercola DO., a well-known osteopathic physician, whose website has tons of informative articles on holistic health and wellness. And Natural News is another one that’s been dropped from Google searches. Though they are a less credible source of info, it shouldn’t be up to Google to determine that and exclude their info from searches! So what gives? And how to find the most accurate holistic health info?
Why Google Might Be Tampering With Holistic Health Searches
A little known fact: two years ago Google’s parent company Alphabet partnered with big pharma’s GlaxoSmithKline in a $715 million deal to create a biotech company. In the deal, GlaxoSmithKline also gained access to Google’s search data, according to CNBC.(2) Wow! Could big pharma be censoring holistic health info? After all, Google is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice for antitrust issues.(3)
Adding fuel to the fire, in July a top Google exec was caught on an undercover video saying that “Google was stepping up to define ‘what’s fair and equitable’ as it determines how to apply its algorithms to users’ search results.” Hum…. shouldn’t we be able to read articles on the topics we’re searching for and make our own decisions?
Of course, it’s pure speculation as to why holistic health and wellness articles are suddenly disappearing from Google search results since Google is not talking about it. But both Sayer Ji and Dr. Mercola have accused Google of censorship and favoring allopathic medical information over alternative, holistic health and wellness information.
Is Google Censoring Your Searches?
Coincidently (or not?) I personally have noticed this change over the past few months as I search for holistic wellness research and information to support the articles I write. So I decided to do a little experiment and search for some of my own articles.
First I searched for my most read and shared article, Go Gray for Your Health. I know from previous searches that it used to perform well on Google. Today, it never showed up at all, unless I put the search terms in quotes, “Go Gray for Your Health”. That could just be because it’s an older article, or maybe the SEO isn’t up to snuff on that article… or it could be that my holistic wellness site is also being blocked by Google. No way to know. Google’s top listings served up for those keywords were for Harvard Health, health.com, and webMD, all allopathic medicine-backed sites.
Next, I tried searching for a recent blog post, Leaky Gut: What is it? Do you have it? How to cure it? (FYI: Leaky Gut is very controversial in the allopathic medical community, with many old-school MDs believing that it doesn’t actually exist.) My article also did not show up in Google at all… at least not on the first 15 pages, I stopped looking after that. What came up first was an article from Healthline, an allopathic medicine-backed website.
A Better Alternative to Google?
However, interestingly when I used DuckDuckGo.com(3), an alternative search engine site that is gaining more popularity because it doesn’t store any user data, my article on Leaky Gut came up at the top of page 2 in an organic search! I didn’t try searching on Bing or Yahoo because unfortunately, they both now use Google search results.
Importance of Accurate Holistic Health Info
Sharing info on holistic wellness is already an uphill battle without Google trying to police it for us. There are so many naysayers out there when it comes to “alternative medicine”, (which should actually be called Native Medicine, not “alter-native.”) After all, if it weren’t for native, holistic medicines that really work like herbal remedies, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurvedic medicine, humans wouldn’t have survived for tens of thousands of years. But somehow when allopathic medicine came along 200 years ago, they threw the baby out with the bathwater and tried to squelch our traditional medicinal roots.
So I’m increasingly dismayed at the search results I’m receiving on holistic health topics these days. Thankfully there are many clinically trained MDs who are also Functional Medicine doctors, and/or holistic-minded in nature. These MDs know that diet and lifestyle play a HUGE role in health ad wellness. As Dr. Mark Hyman has said, “No disease was ever caused by the lack of a pharmaceutical.” But many diseases are caused by the lack of good nutrition and poor lifestyle choices. In fact, research shows that fully 80-90% of all diseases are treatable and/or preventable with diet and lifestyle changes.(4) Which is so much cheaper and healthier than taking a pill for every ill, right? Unfortunately for big pharma, there’s no money in that, and therefore no incentive to promote diet and lifestyle changes.
How to Find the Most Accurate Holistic Health Info?
Here are a few places where I go to find the most accurate holistic health info. And you can check them out yourself. Many of these MD’s send out newsletters with great wellness information too.
Holistic Wellness Practitioners I Follow
Most of these doctors share great holistic health info on Instagram and/or Facebook, on their own blogs, and in their newsletters.
- Dr. Mark Hyman, MD
- Dr. Sarah Gotfried, MD
- Dr. David Perlmutter, MD
- Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD
- Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM
- Dr. Mark Menolascino, MD
More Scientific Research on Holistic Health
I also regularly search on PubMed.gov(5) for research articles. This is a repository of all the major scientific research papers from around the world. You might be surprised by all the research being done on holistic wellness. Here you can search by topic e.g. “health benefits of chocolate”. You will then see a list of all the research papers on that subject. It’s important to look at who funded the research. If a study on the “health benefits of chocolate” was paid for by Hershey, it might not be as credible as a non-biased study. And if you’ve ever taken a statistics course, you know that data can be skewed just about any way you want it. So it’s important to find several studies with the same outcomes.
What Else Can You Do?
While it might seem like we can’t do much to fight back against a goliath like Google if they are really censoring searches, there is something you can do. Most major news publications have investigative journalism departments. I’m currently writing to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the L.A. Times. These are all news outlets that have great investigative journalism resources and just might be working on this story already. If you’re as incensed by these allegations as I am, please join me in writing to these publications who are always looking for stories. Especially ones that can right injustice.
Hopefully, the above resources and tips will help you continue to find the most accurate holistic health info on topics you’re looking for. I’m definitely going to start using DuckDuckGo.com more often for my searches. How about you?
Please share this article with your friends and family to help them find the most accurate holistic health info. And leave a comment to let us know if you’ve run into any holistic health censorship? Or what unbiased search engines you use?