ISPs in NZ filtering Google Search Results?

Something strange happened today.  A mate of mine told me one of my blog posts rated at the top of Google’s search list (it was for Telecom Micro Sim, click on the link to see).  WOOWHOO! I thought. I mean, ‘thanks for letting me know’ I said.

Anyway, I mentioned that I often got quite high up in google rankings, even beating regular media or web site of a product I reviewed.  I used the Golf-R (a car for anyone that doesn’t know) as an example.   I told him on I was the second to top term for Golf-R, beating even the AA review, and also Volkswagen’s own NZ web site (they make the car).  My friend changed and said “No you don’t, you don’t even come in the top five (it comes in no 8 – although the article he found was not the same that was #2 on my list).

What’s going on?

Auckland, Telecom ISP

Christchurch, TelstraClear ISP

This is the search we both used.  Click on the images above to see the enlarged version.  You will see on the right the post is #2.  On the left a DIFFERENT post is #8.

A couple of things to confirm:

So this is WEIRD.  I couldn’t think what it could be.  Then I remembered seeing an article on TechDirt about ISP filtering search results, redirecting search terms etc.  That article is an interesting read!

I then further checked with my mate in Auckland and sent him the exact link I used for my Golf-R search over MSN so he just clicked on it.  I thought this would fix it, but no, he still got the same result (i.e. different from me).  So SOMETHING is modifying the Google results he gets (or something is modifying mine).

Try it yourself – which one to you get, or do you get a third result? Comment away please! (Use this link if you like to check - make sure you use too and select “pages from NZ”)!).  Let me know what ISP you used, and what results you get.

I THINK .. and I could be wrong here that Telecom is filtering things.  They shouldn’t, but they do. But I cant prove this (not yet anyway!).  Well I can prove something – they get LESS search results (you can see from the # of searches it shows), so there is SOME filtering going on here.

UPDATE 1: Confirmed now from someone that they get the “Telecom” result when either connected to Telecom through Xtra, or connected to the Telecom LAN (yes they work for Telecom).

Black and White Version: New Zealand based ISPs (Telecom in particular) may be filtering Google Search results.  BASTARDS!

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