Search results from Google, the largest search engine and most-visited website in the world, appear to significantly suppress any results related to Republican presidential candidates, as well as any of the Democratic challengers to Joe Biden.
As reported by Just The News, the Media Research Center (MRC) conducted a study on Google’s search results, on September 20th and 25th, publishing its findings on Wednesday shortly before the second GOP primary debate.
“Google is either the most incompetent search engine on the planet, or it is intentional. This is not a coincidence,” said Dan Schneider, Vice President of MRC Free Speech America. The results also showed that Democrats were more likely to appear at or near the top of search results than Republicans, even when the latter was searched for.
By contrast, Eric Goldman, a search engine optimization (SEO) researcher and co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, said that “[o]ne of the least likely explanations is that Google is hacking these results to steer the election.”
“Search engine indexing and ordering is the kind of topic that would benefit from a proper academic study, not an advocacy stunt,” Goldman said in an email in response to the MRC study.
“Google poses a serious threat to democracy,” said Robert Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, during testimony before the Arizona State Legislature. Google, Epstein continued, “can tell us to a high degree of certainty how many people are going to vote, how they’re going to vote, and who’s going to win.”
The tech giant is already facing a lawsuit from one presidential candidate, lawyer and author Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is accusing Google of censoring him. Last month, a federal judge denied Kennedy’s motion for a temporary restraining order, after Google-owned YouTube deleted several of his videos. Kennedy is widely considered the leading Democratic challenger to Biden, polling at about 14% in national primary polls.
In the studies conducted by MRC and replicated by Just The News, many of the Republican candidates appeared much further down the initial page of search results rather than at the top, and often on subsequent pages rather than the first page. Congressman Will Hurd (R-Texas), an outspoken critic of President Trump, was located higher in the search results than any other candidate when it comes to organic results; when paid ads are factored in, Vivek Ramaswamy (R-Ohio) was the highest-located result.
Goldman once again disputed the assertions behind these findings, suggesting that because most of the GOP candidates’ websites were created so recently, they “haven’t had time to build a broad and deep network of inbound links from trusted third-party sites.”