We see Google show up in the media every day, usually regarding things like SEO, mobile technology, and other topics. One that has spread like wildfire lately is somewhat unusual: the effect of search listings on the outcome of elections. Let’s investigate.
Google and The Voter Margin
A wealth of recent research has made it quite clear that how a candidate is ranked in search listings has a direct correlation on how a voter will decide. We know the same to be true for consumer choices and other types of decisions, so it’s not terribly surprising. These days, demographics are as divided as ever. There are extreme ends to every issue and many voters become unsure about how to align themselves. This means some vote decisions may come down to a single search. Another critical factor is voter margins. The current election is becoming a tight 3-way race and this makes search ranking all the more potent in how it affects the outcome of an election.
How Voters Get Their Information
During election season, even before using sites specifically designed for the comparison of candidate policies, internet users everywhere are conducting Google searches to learn about who is running. Even as many voter information sites strive to be as neutral as possible, more often than not, users still go through Google to get there. Of course, a significant amount of this comes from direct sharing between people on social media, but the dominance of Google as a tool for electoral decision-making is unmistakeable.
What it All Means
The fact that Google’s search algorithm has the ability to sway undecided voters may seem unsettling, but it’s also a very informative discovery. It underlines how powerful search technologies can be in guiding our lives. This has larger implications for thinking critically about what information is made available and how autonomously you’re making a decision. It’s useful to be aware of how you are being influenced by all that information, how it is presented to you or your audience, and how this may lead them to one company over another. As a business owner, you’ll find that this is relevant to you at every turn.
CAYK is dedicated to helping you understand the power of today’s search and marketing technologies. To learn more about the capabilities of digital marketing tools and what they can do for your business give us a call at (403) 456-0072 today!