Is Google Biased? We Analyzed 50 Key Politically-Driven Topics to Find Out

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Is Google biased against conservatives? The short answer is not likely.

Based on our data-driven study, we found that 63% of Google’s search results were non-partisan. While 32% of the results came from left-leaning publications versus 5% of results coming from right-leaning websites.

Now you may see 32% vs 5% and think that Google is biased.

But here’s the truth:

The lopsided results are because of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), not because Google’s algorithm is biased.

Let’s dive into the case study.

Google Liberal Bias: Does It Exist?

63% of Results are Non-Partisan

While 63% is almost a failing score in school, it’s impressive that an algorithm can be so effective.

316 of the results were from non-partisan and unbiased websites. Websites that present facts. Not opinions.

This is super important for politically-driven topics where there tends to be lots of misinformation or “fake news”.

32% Left vs 5% Right

While Google’s algorithm presents unbiased information for the majority of the results, it isn’t perfect. As you can see, left-leaning publications received more coverage and visibility for key political topics.

In a perfect world, there would be equal representation for both parties.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Now you might be wondering why? Why are there more left-leaning websites showing up for key political topics?

Well, it’s not for the reasons that you probably think.

More on this in second, but it has to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

But before we get into that, let’s dive into some of these topics a little.

Top 3 Left-Leaning Topics

Topics that had the most left-leaning websites present:

  • “black lives matter” = 9/10
  • “border wall” = 7/10. This one is almost inline with Gallup poll data. 60% of American’s oppose “significantly expanding the construction of walls along the U.S.-Mexico border”.
  • “dreamers” = 6/10

Top 3 Right-Leaning Topics

Topics that had the most right-leaning websites present:

  • “blue lives matter” = 4/10
  • “second amendment” = 3/10
  • “pro life” = 3/10

Top 3 Unbiased Topics

The topics below had the highest number of non-partisan results:

  • “electoral college” = 10/10
  • “gold standard” = 10/10
  • “roe vs wade” = 9/10

Google’s algorithm was effective for these topics. It had almost a 100% success rate in showing non-partisan results for these topics.

Top 3 Topics With Fair Representation

“second amendment” = Left: 3, Center: 4, Right: 3

“pro life” = Left: 3, Center: 4, Right: 3. According to Gallup Poll, 46% of Americans are “pro choice” while 49% are “pro life”, so this was pretty accurate.

“gun control” = Left: 2, Center: 7, Right: 1. The first two results were fair, but after that there weren’t any other topics that had “fair” representation. “Gun control” was the closest.

So at this point, it’s clear that right-leaning websites get less visibility and coverage for key political topics.

But the question is: why?

Why Do Google’s Results Seem Biased (from an SEO Perspective)?

First, let me quickly cover how SEO works. Google uses over 200 different ranking factors for determining what pages should show up any given keyword. These factors are NOT created equal.

But in most cases, pages that perform well in Google have the following characteristics:

1. They are targeting a keyword phrase like “black lives matter” or “gun control”.

2. The page provides detailed information about the topic.  This is referred to SEO content in my world. More often than not, pages that have bigger word counts tend to perform better.

3. The website and target page have backlinks. A “backlink” is created when another website links to your website.

Google uses backlinks as “votes” for a website. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the better it will often perform. Out of all of the 200 ranking factors, backlinks are one of the strongest by far.

So now let’s look at the data.

Left-Leaning Websites Are Stronger

On average left-leaning websites in this study were substantially stronger than right-leaning websites. By “stronger”, I’m speaking in terms of website authority driven by the quantity of high-quality backlinks.

Here’s the data pulled from Ahrefs:

Left-leaning websites also have substantially more .gov and .edu backlinks.

So without getting too deep into SEO, the primary reason why there are more left-leaning websites outperforming right-leaning websites is because of the volume of backlinks and overall website authority.

But this raises some other questions:

Why do left-leaning websites get more backlinks?

There are a few possibilities:

1. Left-leaning websites are more likely to engage in active link building. “Active” link building is when a company pays a company like mine to acquire backlinks on other websites.

2. There is a greater pool of left-leaning websites capable of linking compared to right-leaning. According to data in this article, the tech industry (who have very powerful websites) leans left.

3. .edu and .gov websites tend to be more left-leaning and therefore or more likely to link to left-leaning sources of information.

These ideas are difficult to quantify, but there’s worth exploring further.

To Conclude the Google Bias Project

So back to our original question:

Is Google biased? Not likely.

Google’s results were surprisingly non-partisan (61%) for key political topics. It’s not perfect and the results lean left, but it’s likely not because Google’s algorithms are biased.

It’s because those left-leaning websites are simply better at SEO.

Now there is one thing that can’t be quantified, but it could make Google results biased in some cases. And that’s the fact that Google’s algorithm is designed and operated by humans. Humans are inherently biased in one way or another.

You must also consider that Google uses over 10,000 humans for manually reviewing the quality of their search engine results. It’s entirely possible that these humans could suppress pages they don’t agree with.

Bias is inevitable when humans are involved.

If you’d like to see all the data we used for this case study go here (no opt-in required).

How to We Conducted the Google Bias Project

The way we conducted this case study was simple:

1. We found over 300 “controversial” topics using sites like ProCon.org

2. We broke that list down and focused on 50 politically-driven topics (see them here). Why? Because political bias is easier to identify.

3. We scraped Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for each topic using the Data Miner plugin for Chrome

4. We then built a list of websites that were frequently showing up for these key political topics.

5. We then categorized each website as either left, center, or right-leaning based on findings from AllSides.com and Media Bias Fact Check. “Center” can also be defined as “non-partisan” or neutral.

6. Then we went through the top 10 for each topic and marked each result as left, center, right, or unknown. This was based on the website’s known political leanings. Not based on the content of the individual page. We made this decision because categorizing each individual result would make the process too subjective on our end.

We analyzed a total of 500 results (50 keywords x 10 first page spots on Google).

Now Your Turn

Were you surprised by this data? Have you seen bias in Google search results? Let me know below.

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55 thoughts on “Is Google Biased? We Analyzed 50 Key Politically-Driven Topics to Find Out”

  1. “Google uses…” even your own words expose the bias, you proved it – because as a business (which it is) it is manipulates (as you say ‘uses’) to go that way – regardless your spin. Bias is bias. Google attends to the bias of the marketing, so it leans towards the left – that is bias. Your own percentages show this.

    Interestingly, you are saying google doesn’t do anything, but the info that goes in does it…, this makes it happen? This isn’t by “chance”, it is a created process…
    I think you need to be a little more honest open transparent – given you lean heavily yourself. I’m honest, I lean heavily and believe that crazy is just crazy.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, but I’m not sure I’m following what you’re saying? Can you clarify?

      As far as my “honesty”, I presented data and looked at the data through the lens of someone who ranks websites on Google for a living. For example, there’s a 99.9% chance you found this post by searching for something like “Google bias”. This post shows up because I know how to do SEO.

      Once again, my analysis was never meant to determine if Alphabet as a company is biased. The only goal was to determine if the search results are biased.

      Reply
  2. Its a biased answer .
    I use Google as my alarm clock, the 1st thing it does is weather then news, everyday the news it tells is biased against conservatives. And I can prove it. GOOGLE should be ashamed by these misleading headlines that are in line with CNN, MSNBC they do not treat my love for the true American values, the constitution and truth of news.
    Again shame on you google, this is America not China, Russia or any socialust, communist state.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Mark. However, the goal of this case study wasn’t to prove or disprove bias with national media outlets (it’s no secret that CNN and MSNBC lean left). It is only about bias Google’s organic search results. Nothing more and nothing less.

      Reply
  3. First I would like to say thank you for this article it was interesting, to say the least. I am impressed that you did specify in the article that user bias could be completely possible because the tech world does lean left. I also agree that left-leaning websites are more likely to have active link building. This is because the tech industry itself is primarily left-leaning. I would say that based on your research you have shown that the PEOPLE that work for these companies are most likely the ones to show bias if there is any. I say that because as far as I know, all of google’s executives are all heavily left-leaning. Most news sources are for the left and most social media including their executives are all for the left, such as twitter and facebook. I am a conservative and I think that you would have to be completely crazy to think that there is not a liberal bias when using any form of social media or search engine. Perhaps it is not the algorithm or the SEO (I don’t know enough about them to speak intelligently on them anyway) but the executives, employees, and financial backers who control the majority of information that is available to the American public, that is completely corrupted by left-leaning bias. Thank you Nathan, I enjoyed the article.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you pointed out the nuance in my reasoning. I would never claim that tech companies aren’t liberal-leaning. That’s quite obvious. My only objective of this case study was to see if Google’s algorithm (or results in general) are biased in some way.

      Reply
      • So, I believe the algorithm controlling the flow of information within Google searches is written based on the bias of the person/people who are the programmers employed by Google. Therefore, the search results will ALWAYS result in Left Wing/Liberal information. It’s basic logic!🤷‍♀️ It will eventually open up more opportunities for Conservative tech businesses! Basically, providing a service for a need. There really is a silent majority out there that is on there verge of revolt.

        Reply
      • Actually, I feel Google is pushing Donald Trump heavily. Every time I search something or go on YouTube, there is an ad for him or one of his websites. Also, when I google Biden I get one of Trump’s ad and second in line is the Parody website for Biden from Trump’s Campaign. I would say, yes Google is very bias.

        Reply
        • Hey Kristina,

          What you’re describing is remarketing and it’s a common online advertising practice. President Trump and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden are also run mass ad campaigns targeting broad US demographics. This is referred to as “cold” targeting. So when you combine remarketing, cold targeting, and enormous advertising budgets, you’re likely to see their ads (everywhere).

          Reply
  4. We seem to be getting a lot of this now, as people are waking up the large scale left-wing bias on the internet we get left-wing ‘fact-checkers’ like this guy emerge.

    They use left-wing propaganda to try to reassure you left-wing propaganda doesn’t exist.

    What we are witnessing in the media and on the internet in recent years is the sort of mind manipulation Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of.

    Reply
      • The fact that you put Roe v Wade as a non-partisan search was all the proof I needed of your leftist bias; pure disinformation.

        Google “Oprah is a Racist” and return articles related to how great Oprah is; DuckDuckGo same query and get return related to Oprah Winfrey being a racist.

        Reply
        • Hey Randy,

          Thanks for the comment. Did you have a chance to review the data? Point #5 under “How to We Conducted the Google Bias Project”:

          “5. We then categorized each website as either left, center, or right-leaning based on findings from AllSides.com and Media Bias Fact Check. “Center” can also be defined as “non-partisan” or neutral.”

          Nothing in our study was subjective. We either used data that was from Google’s search results or from above ^^.

          What are you hoping to find when you search “Oprah is a Racist”?

          I see recent articles about Ted Cruz (a Republican) responding to her lecture and articles about it general.

          Reply
          • Than you for your reply.

            When searching “Oprah is a racist” I expected to find articles related to Mrs. Winfrey being accused of racism; instead, I received article related to how Oprah is fighting racism. I attempted a similar search for Google CEO (Sundar Pichai) which returned responses related to how Mr. Puchai is combating racism.

            When attempting exact same search on Edge and DuckDuckGo the offering where related to racism charges lodged against respective query.

            Became painfully aware of this bias in 2016; searching “Clinton Corruption” returned “Trump Corruption” responses; similarly, searching “Biden will lose” today returned responses relating to Biden winning.

            Google is obviously utilizing peer pressure to impose it’s ideology on its victims – Google CEO acknowledges lying about the companies ability to control search results; it can, and does

          • Hey Randy,

            That makes sense and I can see the discrepancy between the results from Google and DuckDuckGo for that query. Maybe we’ll conduct a similar study for the other search engines as well so we can compare.

      • This may seem petty, but the Google suggested content on their homepage lists “Senator Kamala Harris” lower down the page an option is “trump” (lower case) Shouldn’t he be referred to as “President “, I dont ever recall seeing “Obama ” when he was President. This to me is thinly veiled insult at a minimum.

        Reply
        • Hey Robert, that’s a good catch. I do think Google’s algorithm should be consistent with their classifications of government officials. One thing that may impact that is how people search for President Trump. For example, the search volume for “trump” is 11 million, “Donald trump” is 4.1 million, and “president trump” is 134k. Most people don’t use proper capitalization when searching on Google, so that’s why “trump” (lowercase) is likely showing.

          Reply
  5. Saying the left has stronger backlinks, and then designing an engine prioritizing sites with stronger backlinks, pretty much proves that Google is bias on some level.

    I mean you’ve (the company not you personally) have decided which backlinks are considered higher in priority. Therefore sites with, I’m going to say “opposing” view points have less “facts” according to Google’s interpretation.

    You say the results are 61-63% non-partisan, or equal in a sense. However even simple searches for me no matter how direct I am with the words. They continually point me to the same websites. VOX, CNN, NPR, all unwaveringly partisan. Its ok really, whatever I don’t mind reading those sites, but its pretty overwhelming how convenient google pushes the left narrative, then calls it non-partisan.

    Ultimately thats what it comes down to politically. This research is all dependent on the person’s views performing these searches. What you think is non-partisan “facts,” may be considered bias opinions to another. Most political ideas are founded on different way to achieve the same goal. Sorry to say but 90% of the time… i’m steered towards the left. Not an opinion, its a fact.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Michael. I totally agree about the backlinks part. However, it’s likely a little deeper than that.

      There is a systematic liberal bias in colleges and universities in the US.

      Google gives more weight to backlinks coming from .edu websites. The reason is that .edu and .gov websites are supposed to be the most trusted sources. So getting a link from any of those TLDs is a big trust signal. The problem is that (as you can expect) universities are more likely to link to liberal-leaning sources. As a result, these liberal-leaning sources develop strong website authority and it largely why these websites are so prevalent in Google’s organic search.

      To bring it back, my case study is purely based on Google’s search results. Not based on whether Google (or its parent company Alphabet) is biased.

      Reply
  6. Google is so LEFT it’s criminal. It’s so true that especially since 2016, this supposed unbiased conglomerate is driven by Marxist, left wing strategists with definite political goals. Twitter, Google, Facebook and all other public information resources should be required to follow unbiased, non political regulations. $$ and personal/political values run these venues.

    Reply
  7. Come on now we all know by now 2020 that Google is the most biased search engine ever and just the worst search engine on the whole. They have become the worst search engine to use today. How can so many people be wrong about their search results and seems like your article is biased as well. Maybe you are getting some support from google. I don’t think you can deny that people are leaving google for other search engines now. All you have to do is some unbiased research to find that out. Not sure if it is all related to when the current CEO took over but I can never find an answer to any of my searches and it keeps getting worse. I found it interesting that when people use other search engines such as duckduckgo they get much better results. I am about to delete google chrome completely from my computer. Case closed for me.

    Reply
    • Hey Joe,

      I wish Google helped me because that would make my job (SEO) a lot easier! You SHOULD delete Chrome and not use Google products if you don’t support them. The accuracy of Google results vs other search engines is a different topic altogether. I’m not on team Google and I welcome any other search engine that wants to take more market share away from them.

      Reply
  8. I realise that I am a little late here, but I’ve tested some of the claims made above by those who believe ‘Google’ to be biased when it comes to the results obtained when certain key phrases are entered, and yes, those allegations are correct.
    Examples: “White American Family” produces an assortment of BLACK American families, with zero white ones. ‘DuckDuckGo’ produced mixed results of all types of families, which is still wrong but at least not as obviously so.
    “Google bias against conservatives” produced a list of articles alleging that ‘Google’ is NOT biased against conservatives, and the very top result was the link to this page. The ‘DuckDuckGo’ search results were balanced, and no apparent bias was evident.
    “Left-wing violence” had many results that showed RIGHT-wing violence. That’s not what I asked for. I asked for LEFT-wing violence, so why does it show the opposite? ‘DuckDuckGo’ is, once again, relatively fair and impartial, it gives me the results I actually asked for.
    Yes, I know, the “algorithm” or some other such excuse is usually trotted out, but if that’s the case then why has this been such an issue for so long now? Why hasn’t anyone bothered to fix it? Surely it can’t be too difficult for a large company like ‘Google’ to sort this mess out. One thing is certain: if this problem is not fixed, and soon, your company will go the way of other failed tech companies (like ‘MySpace’) and people will simply use alternatives like ‘Bing’, ‘Yandex’ and ‘DuckDuckGo’.

    Reply
    • It would be ridiculous to even suggest Google Search isn’t biased

      Google search ‘Inventors’ and you get a long list of black inventors at the front of the image results, but what have they even invented?

      Google search ‘Racism towards white people’ and the ONLY results you get are racism towards black people.

      Case closed.

      Reply
      • It’s easy to find anomalies to support your narrative, Jim. There are roughly 5.5 billion searches conducted on Google every day. Most of the keywords being used are completely new queries that Google’s algorithm has never even seen before. To suggest that someone is finding single queries (with virtually no search volume) and manipulating those results is ludicrous.

        However, I encourage you to conduct your own case study on Google’s search results and we can compare our notes. Thanks!

        Reply
  9. Hi Nathan,
    I just wanted to applaud your patience and intelligence in replying to these comments. Very interesting study. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Type into your google search engine “left wing violence” and see how many articles about right wing violence come up on the first page. Then type in “right wing violence” and see how many results about left wing violence comes up on the first page.

    For me typing in “left wing violence” there is not one result which talks exclusively about left wing violence except for the first result of the “left wing terrorism” Wikipedia page. The second result is the Wikipedia entry about “right wing terrorism” just to make sure everyone knows that where there is left wing terrorism, there is right wing terrorism. The term “right-wing” is bold font everywhere it appears in the results for the search “left wing violence” as if there is something about this specific search where the search engine acts as if you typed “left-wing right-wing violence” and not just “left wing violence”. But don’t stop there, keep searching past page one and you will be greeted with more results that are mixed. Overall, you will find more “right wing violence” results in the first 5 pages of a google search for “left wing violence” than you will of the actual specific term you searched for.

    Then type in “right wing violence” and you will see zero results about “left-wing violence”. Zero! Naught! Nothing! Because you didn’t search for “left wing violence” so of course it won’t give you any results. But don’t stop there, go through the other pages. What a convenient little quirk.

    This is clear bias. Where’s the Wikipedia entry for “left wing terrorism” when one searches for “right wing violence” like they do when one searches “left wing violence”? Where’s the assurance that where there is “left wing terrorism”? then there is also “right wing terrorism”. What a convenient double standard. Clearly bias.

    There is no defence of this, any algorithm which does this has been rigged to do it on purpose, why else would the word “right” be in bold font everywhere when I look up “left wing violence”? It’s because the search engine has been told to find results with the word “right” in it when one types in “left wing violence”. That’s why the word “right” is in bold font along with the actual words you searched for.

    There is more than enough evidence to prove Google’s bias, but it doesn’t matter anymore. There is something very sinister happening in today’s modern online world. There is an attempt to make excuse, to find justification, to use any argument necessary to give a pass for what is clearly overt left wing bias of tech companies. Google is as big of a culprit as any tech company for this bias. I never see any of those same tactics used the other way. This muddying of discourse and attempt to excuse the inexcusable has contributed to a deterioration of honest and intellectual discourse.

    We are in big trouble when the goal of Google is to simultaneously distort information based on biased political and ideological leanings while also pretending they aren’t by doing just enough to muddy reality in a way where many people will make excuses and justifications for their wrong doing.

    Reply
    • Hey Ben,

      Thanks for your comment. However, the results I’m seeing for those queries align with the case study. The websites that are ranking are mostly left-leaning publications. It isn’t because Google is hand-selecting those results. Google isn’t an individual who picks the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It’s an imperfect algorithm based on “ranking factors”. One of the biggest ranking factors they use is “backlinks” (which are links from other websites). Most left-leaning publications have much higher website authority and more backlinks than right-leaning publications.

      I agree that Google should show fair and balanced results. However, its algorithm is far from perfect.

      Reply
      • You completely ignored the part where Google included the word “right” in it’s search parameters when I searched for the words “left wing violence”. The algorithm only does it to this specific phrase, It doesn’t include the word “right” if you search the term “left”. When I searched the term “left” I found one result where the word “right” appeared, but it was not in bold font, proving it was not part of the search parameter. Also, a search for “left wing” does not include the word “right” in it’s search return.

        However, with the addition of the word “violence” to the search, where I input “left wing violence”, Google magically decides to act in a way as if I included the word “right”. It doesn’t matter what leaning of politics is involved, the search returns were heavily based on “right wing violence” because the search engine arbitrarily decides, without my consent, to include the word “right”.

        Whether it be left wing or right wing leaning websites that come up in the results is irrelevant to the point I’m making. I feel you haven’t understood what I have said here. It doesn’t matter what study finds because i know for a fact that when I type in “left wing violence” I am going to get a lot of websites talking about right wing violence all because Google decided, without my permission, to include the word “right” in the search results, thus I get lots of hits with the term “right wing violence” come up from both left and right wing websites. Am I being clear enough? I’m not talking about which websites appear, I’m talking about the search function returning results in a way as if I had included the word “right” when I never did.

        This is proven with the fact that when Google matches a word that you search for that word is in bold font throughout the search return. Why is the word “right” in bold font all over my search results when I didn’t include it in my search for “left wing violence”? Why doesn’t Google include the word “right” when I search for “left” or “left wing”, but it DOES include the word “right” when I search for “left wing violence”?

        Google has, at the least, rigged the search for this specific phrase and anyone being honest knows they have done this because of political/ideological reasons.

        Reply
      • Yeah, I wouldn’t reply either when my study has been proven to be flawed in its scope and I’m too stubborn to admit fault.

        All you have proven is that the way you conducted your study to determine Google bias is flawed and limited. Google bias exists, your study is not the authority on how to determine Google bias. Of course Google doesn’t cherry pick search results, it’s biased in less overt ways. It’s biased in ways that it can get away with. How you went into this with such a narrow scope is beyond me. Your study comes up on the first page when I type in “why is google left wing biased”. It’s not biased, it’s just really convenient that it appears biased.

        None of this explains why the algorithm is adding extra words into my search for “left wing violence”, specifically the word “right”. It doesn’t do this for other phrases like “left” or “left wing”, but when it comes to the politically charged phrase “left wing violence” I have found CLEAR PROOF of Google’s manipulation. When the system it rigged to lean left, all Google has to do is inject small little manipulations here and there, just like they did when one searches the phrase “left wing violence”.

        Is this getting through to you, or are you still hung up on the flawed concept that Google bias is 100% determined by your limited study which only focuses on the ratings of websites? I’ve presented LITERAL interference by Google of a highly contentious political and ideological issue that is “left wing violence”, the interference is clearly motivated by politics/ideology and it’s motivated in a way that it favours the left over the right. Is the penny dropping yet that Google’s manipulation based on their left wing bias would never be something as overt as what your study focuses on?

        Reply
        • Hey Ben,

          Thanks for your reply. What do you mean by “why the algorithm is adding extra words into my search for “left wing violence”, specifically the word “right”?

          And before you reply, consider this:

          I’m not on team Google.

          I agree that majority of people who work for Google are left-leaning. I agree that’s for this reason there’s a possibility that the algorithm is constructed with inherent bias. It’s also well known that Google manually analyzes search results. And in some cases, they manually pick the search results such as in the case of “how to commit suicide”. But that’s because it is harmful.

          That said, it’s highly unlikely that Google would manually alter the search results for one keyword. Why? Because Google gets ~ over 63,000 searches per second.

          Do you really think they have the time and resources to manually select the search results for one keyword?

          Plus, it’s easy to find keywords and search results that align with whatever argument you’re trying to prove. This is called confirmation bias. Google isn’t perfect and therefore, you will always be able to find inconsistencies.

          You also selected a keyword (left wing violence) that only has around 500 searches per month. The keywords we analyzed in our study are searched at a much higher frequency. So if Google was going to alter search results, they likely wouldn’t do it for keywords that people are barely searching.

          And with all that said, it’s possible that you’re right. However, in the pool of keywords we studied, the results were mostly bi-partisan. We will likely add more keywords to this study to make it more robust. And maybe when doing so, the findings will change.

          Reply
  11. Nathan, please be objective on my question , because tensions in the US are high right now on this subject.
    When anyone “Googles” = “White American Family” = The first image is of a Black Family……HUH?
    But “Googling” = “Black American Family” and “Asian American Family” yield acceptable proper results for their top image.
    As with the “White American Family” search, the images are littered with many non conforming results, in contrast, the other searches yield numerously less non conforming results?

    And how would that bias come from the SEO?

    Reply
    • Hey Charles,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s a very interesting case and I’m seeing the same thing as well. I’ll need to analyze the results deeper to see if there are any SEO-driven reasons.

      One thing I notice right away is that the title and description for those images like this is “joyful african american family isolated on white”.

      So Google is likely pulling “American family” + “white” from that description. The second result from AdWeek (which may be different on your end) also discusses “American families” and “white”. AdWeek has a very strong website so it would make sense that they would be ranking.

      However, I will say overall, the accuracy of Google results based on the intent of that keyword phrase is poor (especially relative to the other searches).

      Is it because Google is manually picking these images? Probably not. It’s more likely that it’s a bad result. Google’s algorithm is far from perfect.

      Reply
    • Thats all Bullshit
      Total bullshit as a matter of fact. Google is heavily biased to the left.
      You probably work for the CIA as well, trying to dispel what we all know is factual. The truth is the truth, and it can never be spun, disguised, or hidden. Google was built by the CIA for spying on the populace, mind indoctrination, and populace control. Definitely you have been completely brainwashed, or you simply work for them and hate this country. Any idiot knows Google is worthless as a search engine anymore. When the 1st 500 search responses are ads, the whole thing is completely useless. Amazing you have such limited intellectual capacity, and lack of knowledge.

      Reply
  12. Having just left the left and removed the wool from my eyes, I can confirm that Google is certainly biased , whether it’s intentional or not. I strongly believe it is. I also believe they provoked the George Floyd uprising intentionally , I was astonished to wake up everyday and see more articles at the top of my results that were sympathetic of violence and disorder. And instigating negativity towards all police? Only a human can be that delusional. Whoever’s at the top of Google, hates Trump, probably because he’s not a “complex intellectual of moral supremacy”. If I had gone to all the trouble to create a giant search engine , best believe I would leave myself and easily accessed back door to control the results.
    That’s what hackers do. Thank you for the article and you seem genuinely interested in fairness , which is respectable.

    Reply
      • I work online. I see the bias in search results – particularly when I run the same queries through different search engines – you Do know that Google is not the only search engine, right?
        Skipping that entirely – because you can view slant as you wish in terms you hand pick. This really tells us nothing. Publish the keywords so we can replicate the results on our own – and contrast them to what comes up in non-google searches which you appear to not have done.
        Is Google Biased? Absolutely. When the company publishes internally that they “will not permit [2016] to recurr in 2020,” that speaks volumes over the little cheerleading article presented here.
        How does threatenning The Federalist and banning ZeroHedge fit in with you “likely not” assessment of Google’s bias and acts against the American People.

        This is a poor attempt to whitewash egregious acts of censorship and Marxist manipulation of data. You will forgive me if I not add your name to a growing list of Communist Enablers.

        Reply
        • Hey there,

          Thanks for the comment. The Google Sheet with all of the data (including keywords) is at the bottom of the post. This case study isn’t about whether or not Google’s parent company, Alphabet is biased. The case study is about Google’s search results which are dictated by an algorithm.

          Reply
  13. Two points:

    1. What defines “non-partisan”? If you define CNN as such, then it’s easier to reach such results.

    2. “By “stronger”, I’m speaking in terms of website authority driven by the quantity of high-quality backlinks….Left-leaning websites also have substantially more .gov and .edu backlinks.”

    As you partially addressed (but did not quantify or dig more into), considering that there is a notable leftward bias in education & big tech specifically, and (I would assume) govt in general, this is just another way for Google to be biased, without appearing so.

    It would be like a food reviewer stating that they are unbiased, but also that they consider carbs to be disgusting. Would we be surprised when Italian pasta restaurants get lower scores? Could the reviewer defend themselves by saying that “yes, under the system I have established, you can see that we abide by the rules 100% of the time….it’s not our fault if Italian restaurants just happen to serve disgusting food more often!”

    Now technically one could argue that this is technically “correct”, that being unbiased consists of adhering to a fixed set of rules all the time, but it also misses the point, when the rules themselves are designed to support one particular group.

    Reply
    • Hey David,

      Thanks for the comment! For #1, we explained it under “How to We Conducted the Google Bias Project”. All websites were categorized based on results from AllSides.com and Media Bias Fact Check.

      For #2, I agree. I did mention in that part of the article that the tech industry leans left. It’s an interesting point you’ve made. Google does give more weight to .gov and .edu websites. From an SEO perspective, it makes sense because these sites are often the most “credible” (which is always debatable as well). But I get what you’re saying.

      Reply
  14. Google is so wildly liberal and biased against Conservatives, that a google search of google has liberal bias” brings you straight to this pathetic fake news article with graphs meant to make people think Google isn’t heavily liberal and biased. Seriously this off the wall article is at the top of the search. Sad and embarrassingly obvious.

    Reply
    • Hey Jeff, thanks for the comment. While that is probably true about Google (Alphabet) as a company, it isn’t true about their algorithm. The algorithm is built by people (which may have engrained biases). However, they have designed it to be impartial. It isn’t a perfect algorithm. And as I explained in the article, the reason why liberal-leaning publications tend to show up more is because of SEO. Not because of bias.

      Reply
  15. Google! You need to be politically unbiased. You are supposed to be accurate in the information your customers are searching for not show us only what you want us to see! Your are supposed to be like the old encyclopedias. Keep your political beliefs away from your site!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Brenda. I agree Google should show unbiased search results. In our study, 63% of the results came from non-partisan websites. In a perfect world, it would be 80% or more for politically-driven topics.

      Reply
  16. This page is biased. I searched “history of the civil war” on both google and DuckDuckGo, and google yielded results that implicate that it was based on slavery, however my own knowledge combined with DuckDuckGo yielded results that align with what I was taught in school. It’s been known that since 2005 google has a left leaning political bias. This fact check alone proved nothing other than being left leaning aswell. Also that’s not how SEO works.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Ty. We analyzed the results from 50 key political topics and presented the data objectively. Would you mind elaborating on why you believe it’s biased?

      Reply

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