Disappearing tycoon Souter blames Google

Screengrab of Briansouter.com, Brian Souter Sir Brian claims his personal site has disappeared from Google search results.

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Transport tycoon Sir Brian Souter has accused Google of stopping links to his website appearing when people search for it.

On 13 August the site "mysteriously disappeared" from results returned for a search on "Brian Souter".

Sir Brian has vowed to launch a campaign to end what he dubbed "search engine censorship".

Google declined to comment on the case but said site rankings were calculated from many different measures.

"It's not Google's place to decide which sites we can see and those we can't," said Sir Brian in a statement.

The site in question, www.briansouter.com, details Sir Brian's life, includes a picture gallery and gives news updates about the Stagecoach founder.

A spokesperson for the businessman said his site was not commercial and is not used for political purposes.

Sir Brian's views have sometimes proved controversial, not least his campaign against the repeal in Scotland of Clause 2A which banned schools from "promoting homosexuality".

He said that Google had been asked on 22 August why the site had disappeared from searches.

The California company "mumbled" a response about changes made to its search algorithm, according to Sir Brian.

In a statement Google said it could not comment on individual cases.

"Our search algorithm relies on more than 200 signals to help people find the answers they're looking for, and and last year alone we made more than 500 improvements to our algorithm, while experimenting with thousands more," it said in a statement.

Advice about how to improve the ranking is also believed to have been passed to Sir Brian's office.

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