Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Politics Of: Google vs. Bing

Is there a hidden bias to search engine giants Google and Bing? Let's ask the web!

Fox and Friends highlighted this on Friday with the Good Friday issue and google. Also they have pointed out that google prevents certain searches for muslim info that may make them look bad, while they still allow the same search for Christianity.
Remember compare to
Do yourself and our faith a favor and drop-kick google to the curb.
From SurvivalistBoards:
OK, I've been using Yahoo for a long time. Lately it seems they are kicking me out of sites/stories that are conservative.
Are there more "like-minded" search engines??

I'm not really a computer guy, so maybe I'm not asking the right thing. I am assuming that Yahoo is a search engine. I use it currently as a home page and an e-mail account.
Thanks. and stay ready....
Apparently Google did, in fact, remove content from its News page due to complaints about hate speech from conservative blogs:

After sending the Google Help Desk a query concerning the matter, Salvato was informed that there had been complaints of "hate speech" at his website, and as a result, The New Media Journal would no longer be part of Google News. As evidence of his offense, the Google Team supplied Salvato with links to three recent op-eds published by his contributing writers, all coincidentally about radical Islam and its relation to terrorism.

I'm not sure that was such a "coincidence"--but still ...

The SonicFrog blog finds that Google is promoting his more "liberal" posts but not his more conservative ones. He notes that searching Limbaugh, for example, finds lefty sites talking about Rush ahead of, say, Rush actually saying what he says. He reasons:
if Google is truly favoring left / liberal biases in its search matrics, is it time for Conservatives to launch their own search engine service? I mean, this is why Conservative talk radio and FOX news have been so successful. There was an open niche, a political vacuum, just waiting to be filled!
Does Google Favor Liberals?
The issue of Google's search politics reached a boiling point last Easter when, instead of something related to Jesus, Google put up this doodle on its home-page:
Will Liberals See Caesar Chavez When They Die?
It was noted that back in 2000 Google had traditional Easter Eggs--but people (Conservatives, at least) still think they detect a liberal bias in the works at Google. Whether it be Google bombs (Dan Savage's Santorum page), image links (for a long time if you typed Miserable Failure into Google image search you got George Bush (note: this was not just on Google), and so on.

2Close2Reality suggests that:
You all should know by now that is Microsoft’s search engine.
I give them credit for at least having pretty fair information on last year’s election.
Google was caught censoring out some pro-Romney stuff.
I want you to test it out this week with Google and Bing. Perform the same searches on both.
Which gives you more relevant results?
Tonight I was doing a search on a topic that makes the liberals shrivel up. Google’s results were less focused than I expected.
What Do We Know?
There are two facts that are pretty much incontestable:

  1. Google's employees backed Obama in the 2012 election. As did Google's CEO Eric Schmidt.
  2. Google can apply a "manual adjustment" (or penalty) to lower your visibility. They are generally expected to tell you that they did and why they did it.
Is it possible that Google is doing this, on the sly, to conservative media?

Let's Do The Test
Let's put some items into Google and Bing. To start with 'Conservatives are'

Analysis: In the top 4 they are both pretty hard on conservatives save for Bing #01 which links to a report that Conservatives are happier than liberals. Both include 'stupid' and 'idiots' but Google has 'evil' and 'racist,' neither of which appear on Bing at all.

Left vs. Right: Google is LEFT, Bing is RIGHT.

How about 'Liberals Are'
Analysis: In the top four Bing has four negative words. Google has 3 (Google #04 is 'cool'). Bing doubles down with "stupid" and "so stupid." It also uses 'hypocrites' twice.

Left vs. Right: Google is LEFT, Bing is RIGHT.

Let's try 'Obama Is'

Analysis: I LOL'd at 'checking your email' but it's not even close. While neither is complimentary, Google never reaches 'the Antichrist' or 'evil' and invites us to 'watch the proof' on the gay issue.

Left vs. Right: Google is LEFT, Bing is RIGHT.

Okay--'Romney Was'

Analysis: This is moderately balanced--although "mentally ill" shows up first for Google and 'a bully' is is at Bing #04. I'll count calling Romney 'a democrat' as negative but I think two 'rights' at the top of Bing beat out  'mentally ill' at the top of Google.

Left vs. Right: Google is LEFT, Bing is RIGHT.

What's Going On?
It is far more difficult to analyze the News pages which are likely more "material" to guiding viewer's intake of information. Both were roughly equivalent and had a complex enough layout that I wasn't able to easily determine if there was active promotion going on (I use as my news homepage for reasons that will be obvious when you click on it).

But here's what I think: I believe that Bing is--and this is a theory based on an extensive 30 minutes of research--a more conservative-friendly search engine than Google. Now, I am not sure if this is because of mechanical intent or because more conservatives are using it and the learning algorithms lead it in that direction. There's no way for me to tell.

But I will tell you this: there is a great appetite for conservative-friendly services today in America and Bing has had difficulty competing with Google in several key respects (note: Blogger, owned by Google, red-underlies Bing but does not underline Excel or PowerPoint ...). You cannot brand your search engine "conservative"--it'd be the kiss of death--but you can put up auto-completes that send a signal "we're one of you" to prospective searchers. 

While the ability to rate a page by its political leanings is non-trivial (these guys tried--where are they today?) we certainly do know a lot about positive and negative terms (Twitter has made a deep study of this--and can even potentially detect sarcasm and significant relations like 'Romney is a [democrat]'). 

Could Bing be intentionally pandering to the niche that made FOX News number one for many years?

I'll have to say it's possible based on what I've seen here.


  1. On a whim, I searched for "Will Liberals See Caesar Chavez When They Die?" on both Google and Bing. While Bing's results are more neutral overall than Google's, there is one result on Bing's first page that is not on Google's first page (it's Bing's first result, no less) that tilts Bing decidedly to the right: The Political Omnivore: The Politics Of: Google vs. Bing

    From what I understand, it's a partisan RINO blog.

  2. I think the Google liberal bias reaches much farther than just political candidates or biggish political issues.

    An admittedly anecdotal observation comes from how Google displays hits for a large meetup group which I organize. The group has not allowed any politically related events for 4 years and there have been over 1000 events with over 15000 attendees in that 4 years. However, when searching for "Grey Wolves Meetup" the third item on the list is an event from 2010 (prior to making the "no politics" policy) about Earth Hour. It was poorly attended and pretty insignificant.

    I strongly suspect there is a deliberate skewing of results to make millions of people using the search engine think that left wing or liberal agendas are more popular than they really are. This sort of thing is extremely important in propaganda machines. You make people think that they are "out of it" if they don't abide by what they think is accurate information.

    1. I spoke with someone I know who works at Google who didn't think they'd mess with their search results since they were the foundation of their business. The auto-complete is, I think, based on USER'S approach to the engine so it might be some kind of self-selection in user-bases?

      Not sure. This article, as a data-point isn't compelling, of course--but even as a single narrow view I don't have a good explanation for the behavior.

      -The Omnivore

  3. I found this because of a search on Sarah Palin. Sarah commented on rachel dolezal. Google's first new story is a criticism of Sarah rather than Sara's comments. They followed it with a picture of Sarah looking crosseyed.

    Google is toxic & contaminated and must be detatched from influencing our lives.

  4. This entire thing was so ridiculously biased ITSELF as to be completely--though hilariously--irrelevant. To all of you living in "Foxlandia", I highly suggest a Microsoft Windows phone. Even after choosing the news sources you prefer and "deleting" propaganda like Fox & WA Post, your phone will override your preferences and feed you a steady stream of muck and myth from your friends at Fox. Other sites have a weird tendency to magically send you back to your search results page and leave no trail for retrieval...

    1. Fox is biased. I'd like to hear the truth, the whole truth. I found this page, because of a search I did on google that took me to opinion rather than news, and guess what? All of the opinion was liberal. So I tried is google biased. You should really wake up yourself. You are being spoon fed much like you accuse the fox news crowd of being. No one, and I mean no one is reporting facts anymore.

  5. May I add; have any of you tried checking out what data is collected by Google and Bing. Google connects you to far more servers on the Internet when you simply open their page. Bing, even with all the news feeds at the bottom does but a fraction. Looking further into what they were collecting (cookies, history, contact data) from my computer; I made Bing my default and use it all the time now. Sorry Google, but just cause your were the best search engine doesnt give you the right.

  6. Google search is predicated on pushing up paying ad clients. Google makes it's money off of promoting products. This same technology can easily be biased for politics. MS on the other hand do not make their money off of search ads and have no agenda of pushing products (or politics). While Bill Gates is decidedly liberal, from Bing you get more unbiased results also for search for non-political subjects.



  9. According to, among the top 20 Microsoft contributions to political candidates, 14 are Democrats. However, when considering contributions to ALL candidates, it is more balanced (53% to Democrats). The comparable number for Google is 70% to Democrats.

    Conclusion? Staffers who try to remain fair and balanced probably have an easier time with the Microsoft top brass than with Google.