Erick Erickson

The Truth About Google's Biases Against Conservatives

There is a bias against a lot of conservatives in Google's search algorithm. It just is not what you are thinking.

Google has some real biases against conservatives. You can see it in the picture I've made above of a search for pictures of the word "idiot". There is a pretty clear pattern. Google mostly shows pictures of President Trump when the word "idiot" is searched. Bing does not.

But allow me to really explain what is going on because it is not what you think.

By way of background on how I know what I'm about to tell you, right now, I am looking at moving The Resurgent to a platform that is 100% mine, whether it be back to WordPress or something else. While we moved to The Maven's platform out of near necessity some time ago, we need to be elsewhere. I have a goal to one day take my radio show national and I want a website that fully integrates the writing here, the community of readers, and my existing and hopefully future radio program.

I have spent a lot of time with designers and developers over the past month and continue to seek out price quotes and proposals.

I have talked to explicitly conservative design shops. I have talked to obviously liberal design shops. I have talked to professional designers whose politics I do not know. And every one has said the same thing -- Google prioritizes user experience now so the less of an off the shelf web design and the more customization I have, the better this site will perform in Google.

Unless some of you want to cut me a $200,000.00 check, what I want for this site probably is not going to happen. I'll have to go with a WordPress site, some customizations, and a template, which is the visual design of the site you see when you load The Resurgent.

Those sorts of sites tend to come with lots of unnecessary code, security flaws, and other clunkiness that slow down the site. Google notices and prioritizes fast sites without all the code bloat that you don't even see.

The reality is that progressives and left-leaning news outfits tend to build better sites. They do more customization and put more thought and energy into unique sites. They use less tracking and scripts.

So progressive sites play better in Google.

And this is largely a result of the progressive donor class versus the conservative donor class. A progressive donor does not want to make a profit on a left leaning news or activist site. That donor wants a return in public policy or politics.

Too many conservative donors want an actual return on investment in the form of monetary profit or they want a 501(c)(3) to give to so they can take a tax write off. A major progressive donor will gladly cut a $200,000.00 check to a for profit progressive news site knowing they'll be funding the cause. It is hard to find those donors on the right.

As a result, conservative sites tend to be more cheaply designed to save money. They tend to require cutting corners that progressives do not have to cut. They tend to have less, for lack of a better term, curb appeal. This impacts their ranking in Google.

Frankly, too many conservative donors continue to get conned by slick youthful salesmen promising them all sorts of stuff that they never deliver. And large check writing conservative donors are often a bit eccentric and want their money spent in particular ways on vanity projects that are not necessarily the best.

All of this has an impact. And that then gets me back to the screen shots above. The left intrinsically gets how the web and tagging content work in ways the right does not always get. Google is not going out to find pictures of the President for the word "idiot." Progressive activists have figured out how Google searches for images work and have gamed the system to ensure pictures of the President come up. They don't worry about doing it with Bing because too few people use Bing for it to be worth their time.

There are absolutely bias problems online and I am sure Google does have liberal biases. Twitter is the worst offender, however, and causes Google and Facebook to get maligned unfairly. But the Google search algorithm's bias is not against conservatives. It is against cheap work product that more often than not plagues the right, not the left.

Now, if you want to write me a large check to rebuild The Resurgent from the ground up, go here.

29 Responses

  • MittenTom

    Aug 29, 2018

    Good, plausible explanation.

  • Chefcam

    Aug 29, 2018

    Hmm interesting and makes sense to boot.

  • Dave R

    Aug 29, 2018

    Wait... Bing shows Trump in the bottom center row of your photo. Um....

  • Kywrite

    Aug 29, 2018

    Progressives don’t get ROI in cash, but they DO get it in connections - being invited to the right parties, etc. They are the new old boys’ club.

  • KDScomp

    Aug 29, 2018

    I just did a search for 'idiot' in google and bing. With Bing, at the top of the results were three references to President Trump. In google same thing. Using DuckDuckGo, no references to President Trump. Odd since DuckDuckGo supposedly uses google for searching but protects privacy.

  • perronepj

    Aug 29, 2018

    I think there is a lot of truth here. Just to dig a bit deeper I would surmise that a lot of conservatives are donating to their churches while liberals/progressives are donating to their churches - liberal organizations like planned parenthood, the ACLU, etc.

  • SouthernChick

    Aug 29, 2018

    In my search a minute ago, the same results in Google or Bing - mostly Trump pictures.

  • Baby_Elephant

    Aug 29, 2018

    Sell Resurgent brand gear and apparel to earn the $200,000 you need to do the website the way you want.

  • WarrenPeese

    Aug 29, 2018

    I don't doubt it's true that liberal donors are better at funding websites. Nevertheless, Trump's comments about Google searches are still false. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2018/08/28/google-gives-trump-a-look-at-reality-trump-doesnt-like-it/?utm_term=.9234e4a828c6

  • pDavidcATL

    Aug 29, 2018

    What is the conservative/republican position on government intervention in a private sector company on the basis of a free, lawful service concerning lawful content? And please don't tell me about all the people who are not the president also doing things you don't like, or failing to criticize x when y happened.

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