Russia had recently said that it would retaliate if Google downranked the RT and Sputnik media outlets that are believed to be linked to the country’s government. Russia’s statement came after Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt remarked during a summit that the online search giant might downrank results from media outlets that are funded by the government. Google is now reportedly trying to defuse tension with Russia over website rankings.


According to the report, Google has sent a letter to Russia’s communications agency Roskomnadzor reiterated that the company does not change its search algorithm to downrank or re-rank individual websites. This might address Russia’s concerns that the search engine might discriminate against two of its key media outlets.

Roskomnadzor had written to Google earlier this month to seek clarification about Schidmt’s comments. “We’d like to inform you that by speaking about ranking of web-sources, including the websites of Russia Today and Sputnik, Dr. Eric Schmidt was referring to Google’s ongoing efforts to improve search quality,” Google said in its letter.

The letter was posted by Roskomnadzor on its website. Google reiterates in the letter that it does not change its algorithm to re-rank individual websites.

A spokeswoman for Google confirmed to Reuters that the company did send this letter to Russia’s communications agency but offered no further details. Roskomnadzor has not yet commented on the matter.

Filed in Web. Read more about Google.

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