Monday, December 15, 2008

Google and What People Know

There is some wailing and gnashing of teeth among the right on whether that dominant net player, Google, is somehow biased in what pops up on our screen when we do a search. In this case, I assume it's a bias against conservatives (otherwise, would the bother complaining?).

Okay, so I did the same search on news from Yahoo and Google using two terms: Obama, and Blagojevich. Topical. Open for some bias. After all, while loonies and the left wish this would all go away, wackos on the right see a conspiracy. So if the theory holds, Google's news should be more supportive of Obama than the sites plucked out by Yahoo.

Top hit on Yahoo? A poll that says 45 percent of Americans suspect Obama or one of his top aides was involved in the job-selling scandal. The top hit on Google? A Republican advertisement about "unanswered questions" in the Obama-Blagojevich connection. In other words, a tie.

The Yahoo links come from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, some newspapers. The Google links? Something called Right Pundits, then newspapers, Fox, CNN. Basically, a tie.

So in my quick-and-dirty, methodologically challenged approach, no real suspicious stuff going on here by Google, at least not when compared to Yahoo. Conspiracy theorists, sorry.

No comments: