If you have a few minutes today, go ask Google what happened to the dinosaurs. It will bring a smile to your face.
If you go search right now, chances are you will see that the Google-approved explanation is drawn from a creationist website:
Google has been endorsing that source for going on three weeks now, but there are reports that the endorsed link has changed during that time.
From what I can find online, Greg Laden was the first to notice this issue on the 26th (Twitter notwithstanding). Search Engine Roundtable picked up the story the next day, and reported that Google was endorsing a scientific answer. However, Motherboard reported on 10 June that this term had returned to the top spot, and the CBS Sacremento reported that it was gone again the next day.
And we’re still seeing that answer today.
It’s not clear whether that link is being endorsed because of divinely good SEO or because it is the most-clicked link for that search term, but I can add that the same link is the lead result on Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo.
It’s curious that no one else bothered to check other search engines, because that was the clue that convinced me that this is most likely the result of really good SEO. The site in question is probably paying for a service which improves how the site ranks in search engines, and it could also be boosting its rank by getting Christian groups to link to it (backlinks are still the root of all SEO).
And of course, by this point that link is keeping its position thanks to all the press coverage, but if you like you can still try to get Google to stop endorsing it.
Underneath the endorsement box you will find an option for Feedback. Click it and you will be able to tell Google that the answer is wrong:
I don’t think this is going to do much, though; that link is the first result in several search engines, including Google. That makes this less a problem of Google’s algorithm than that one site is particularly effective at SEO.
Even if it is removed, it’s still going to be the first result. What’s more, I’d bet it will be back in the endorsement box by the end of the week.