A recent SourceFed video compared Google auto suggest behavior to Google Trend searches to suggest that Google is burying “Hillary Clinton Criminal investigation” as a search suggestion. The video makes the case by noting that an initiated search for “Hillary Clinton Crimes” does not give the actual search phrases as a possible auto-complete option; this despite the fact that Google Trends shows more search volume for “Hillary Clinton Crimes” than for the search phrases it does suggest. Furthermore, it draws a comparison for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders by showing results for “Donald Trump racist” and “Bernie Sanders socialist.”
SourceFed’s Faulty Reasoning
There are several problems with this reasoning, and a more apples-to-apples comparison reveals no such preferential treatment for Clinton (nor any other candidate for that matter).
The SF video correctly pointed out that searches for “Hillary Clinton Criminal investigation” had more search volume than the search phrases being auto suggested. However, the same case can be made for “Donald Trump. The initiation of a Google search for “Donald Trump Crime” does not display the phrase as a suggestion. The top suggestion is in fact Donald Trump’s own book, Crippled America. This, despite the fact that it recipes less searches than “Donald Trump Crime.”
Donald Trump “Racist” searches
The SourceFed video makes the claim that an initiated search for “Donald Trump racist” does indeed show negative suggestions. This is peculiar since the top suggestion is an SNL skit. What’s more is that Google Trends also shows more searches for phrases like “Donald Trump racist quotes” and “Donald Trump racist comments,” none of which appear in Google suggest.
The video also implies that searches on Hillary Clinton’s potential indictment are also being buried. Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google points out that people searches for new on her indictment are more often searching “Hillary indictment” (not “Hillary Clinton indictment”). Google suggest does indeed display “Hillary Indictment.”
- No, Google isn’t manipulating its autocomplete to help Hillary Clinton
- There’s no evidence that Google is manipulating searches to help Hillary Clinton
- The Viral Video Claiming Google Has A Pro-Clinton Bias Is Bullshit