MRC: Google Manipulating GOP Campaign Sites Search Results, 'Interfering in Democratic Process'

Lauren Shank | October 27, 2022 | 3:51pm EDT
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Illustration picture shows the Google logo, during a visit to the Google company in Ghlin on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Google data centre in Belgium, Friday 21 October 2022. (Photo by NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)

( – The Media Research Center’s FreeSpeech America division conducted a study that caught Google burying 83% of Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites in comparison to their Democratic competitors, who appeared as the top searches in organic search results.

“Google must be investigated for its un-American efforts to sway the election,” L. Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center, told Free Speech America.

“First, researchers caught Google red-handed by proving Republican campaign emails were sent to spam," said Bozell. "Now we’ve uncovered Google manipulating search results to hide Republican campaign websites while promoting Democratic ones. This is all an effort by Google to help Democrats and interfere in the democratic process.” 

The study was sparked by a March 2022 report by  North Carolina State University, which caught Google marking 59.3% more emails as spam from “right”-leaning candidates when compared to “left”-leaning candidates during the 2020 U.S. elections. 

FreeSpeech America looked at Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo search results this fall for the 12 Senate races identified as the most important to track, based on tracking by RealClearPolitics.

While researchers found that Google buried 10 of 12 of the Senate GOP candidates’ campaign websites, both Bing and DuckDuckGo presented both Republican and Democrat websites in a fairer manner. Except for two candidates, both parties’ campaign websites were in the top five organic search results on page one.

To perform the study as accurately as possible, FreeSpeech America used a “clean” computer with zero history or embedded cookies. The researchers did a keyword search on Oct. 7 of each candidates’ name followed by “Senate Race 2022.” 

“The Google results for North Carolina’s Senate candidates are an example of Google’s most egregious election interference," FreeSpeech America reported. "Republican Rep. Ted Budd’s campaign website did not appear anywhere on the first page of Google’s search results, while Democrat Cheri Beasley’s campaign website was the very first result."

“The hotly contested Ohio and Pennsylvania races tell a similar story," said the report.  "Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan’s campaign website appeared as the second Google search result, and Pennsylvania’s Democrat John Fetterman’s website appeared third.

"The kicker? The campaign websites of their respective Republican opponents, J.D. Vance of Ohio and Dr. Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania were eliminated from the first page of Google search results.”

Websites of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and 2022 senatorial candidates Adam Laxalt (R-Nev.), Don Bolduc (R-N.H.) and Herschel Walker (R-Ga.) were also absent from the first page of Google results. 

“Seven of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites did not appear on page one using Google’s organic search. Meanwhile, eight of 12 Senate Democratic Party candidate campaign websites were highlighted in the top six items in organic search results,” FreeSpeech America found.

However, this is not the first time Google has been found showing favor to the Democratic Party. 

Google was involved with Hillary Clinton’s Latino vote win in the 2016 election, while former Google CEO Eric Schmidt funded the largest vendor of her campaign. Another example of the company’s left-leaning bias can be traced to its close relationship with the Obama administration. 
FreeSpeech America recommended that Google should provide transparency with its users and for Congress to take action by investigating the Google search result bias and any other hidden efforts to sway the outcome of the midterm elections. 

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