The Significance of Google Search Engines and Search Results in US Politics

The Significance of Google Search Engines and Search Results in US Politics

Modern politicians, specifically those who came under Trump’s MAGA regime comprehend how search engines can influence public opinions and political inclinations. Even before the 2016 presidential elections, the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology concluded in its 2015 study that search page rankings of search engines have the potential to influence by 20% or more, the final voting decisions of undecided voters.

However, since the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was still new to traditional politicians, many stuck to the conventional methods of running print and TV political ads. As the turns of events have it, the ads proved inadequate against the massive power wielded by the Internet-based, SEO political campaigns. Unfortunately, the top search engine results pages (SERP) included fake news to spread disinformation campaigns created by the MAGA campaign team.

What Exactly is SEO and How Can SERP Sway Voter Opinions?

The search engine popularized by Google is a software that helps people find the information they want, from out of the millions of content published in the World Wide Web. The software works by organizing information based on keywords or key phrases.

When a Google search query is launched, the software will present the keyword-indexed information that is most relevant to the words or phrases that were typed in the search box. Following a set of algorithms, the content carrying the data being searched are ranked. That way, the most relevant and useful answers will appear in the top pages of the Google search tool.

The search engine results page ranking is important, because it provides the basis for determining which of the organic search results will appear in the top pages. In addition to the snippets of organic search results, SERPs also include paid Google Ads, pay-per-click or PPC Ads, video content and knowledge graphs.

Use of SEO in Political Campaigns

In the 2018 midterm elections, the younger set of progressive Democratic candidates were able to garner the support of young and new voters by spreading their political advocacies via the Internet. The same approach was used in the 2020 presidential elections, which included campaigns for people to go out and exercise their right to vote if they wanted true reforms to happen.

Since last year, Republicans have shown optimism that they will be able to take back control of Congress. The plan is to block all Biden administration initiatives, as a way to slow down the fulfillment of the Biden administration’s political promises. As it is, Republiucan candidates aim to snatch majority of the 435 House seats and 34 Senate seats to be filled up via the 2022 midterm elections.

However, the reality is that the events of the past months have been drawing attention to issues that most Republican candidates prefer to avoid: pro-choice, anti-abortion laws, gun violence prevention and gun control.

After the senseless Uvalde school shooting incident that took the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers, the majority of American voters are now well-informed that America is the only country with the most number of mass shooting incidents. Mainly because of the country’s loose gun control laws.

Nowadays, new voters are reading up on the pros and cons of abortion rights. Many are trying to understand why after 50 years, Republican politicians still want to remove the rights of American women to opt for abortion when necessary.

Moreover, despite the growing calls for reform on gun control laws, Republican lawmakers who used to enjoy majority leadership, have not taken legislative actions to prevent further gun violence or to mandate responsible gun ownership. Compared to last year’s optimism, Republican candidates can’t provide a logical explanation that will turn up at the top of search page results.