According to a recent report, UK government officials will teach moderate Islamic groups how to boost traffic to their websites through search engine optimization (SEO) in an effort to stem the tide of more radical Islamic followings.
The Register reports that the UK’s Office of Security and Counterterrorism wants to "flood the internet" with "positive" interpretations of the religion and will train Islamic groups that have been approved by the government in using search engine optimization (SEO) to boost Google rankings.
An unnamed UK security official confirmed with The Register that search engine optimization (SEO) would be a part of the government’s program of "anti-radicalization" and told the news provider that it may also offer media training and other techniques to allow these other groups to be "heard more widely."
But a report last month from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence found that most people do not find the so-called radical websites through a typical Google search.
"Extremist websites are not normally found via web searches on sites like Google, but because people are told about them in web forums, at schools, universities or community centers," finds the report. "Moreover, web searches for ‘extremist’ terms rarely produce the desired results."
The report notes that of the top 100 results for the term ‘jihad’ in a Google query, only one would be described as "problematic," with the others resulting in news, encyclopedia entries and other findings.