Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/02/is-google-manipulating-autocomplete-results-for-uk-political-parties/

What do the autocomplete results for the UK’s political parties tell us about the the corporate and political world, and how are they corrupting your search results?

It’s a conspiracy! Political sabotage! Search engine optimisation in the hands of evil puppet-masters!

If you’ve been on Facebook in the last 12 hours you will probably have seen a few posts similar to the following…

This is bonkers

Searchers have discovered that if you type in “labour are” or “lib dems are” the most popular automatically generated results for completed queries are negative phrases such as “finished”, “a joke” and “scum”.

labour are search

However if you type “tories are” or “conservatives are” you get nothing.

tories are search

And of all the places this discovery has been revealed (or at least popularised), it’s the Daily Mail.

As you can imagine, there are many calls of conspiracy. The most popular of which are that Google has wiped the autocomplete suggestions for the Conservatives and ‘bumped up’ negative autocomplete suggestions for their rivals as part of a ‘secret deal’ or a ‘thank you’ for allowing Google to get off its outstanding tax balance so lightly.

My first reaction when looking at the story is to say “that’s not how Google works! You need to go into an incognito window to see true results that aren’t …

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