Are Google search results rigged against you?

The obvious answer to this question is ‘no,’ but many people are still asking it after President Donald Trump’s latest unsubstantiated claim.

For those that missed it, the president recently called Google’s search results “rigged,” in a tweet, claiming that searches of “Trump news” only showed reporting by what he called the “Fake News Media.” Naturally, the results were mostly negative.

Google has since responded with a statement: “We don’t bias our results toward any political ideology.”

So how are search engine results calculated?

The Associated Press (perhaps ironically) had a pretty good description of the process. Essentially, Google uses bots or programs to collect descriptions of pages and their incoming links, then files the information in Google’s data centers. When you type in a search request, it scans that data and comes up with the most relevant results, based on its current algorithm.

The auto fill that happens when you type in your search is possible because Google knows the latest search terms and attempts to be intuitive.

There is a human element to the search results. Google employs more than 10,000 employees, known as search quality raters, who follow set guidelines to determine the quality of search results. The guidelines are nearly 200 pages long, but they boil down to three main areas: Freshness, relevancy and authoritativeness. In other words, to continually make it to the top of Google searches, you need to keep it fresh, stay relevant and be authoritative.

The first two are common enough, but how do they define authoritative? Expertise and trustworthiness are the main components. For news, sources that have won Pulitzer Prizes, are considered more trustworthy than those that have not. Business that clearly label advertising as such, and that receive positive reviews from users are also considered authoritative.

This is where a professional marketing firm like Pistn can help. Features like our car care tips supply timely, relevant and fresh content from an authoritative source, giving you an edge over your competitors. And, you can push them directly to your business Facebook page, too, for added exposure.

If you’re not getting the search results you like, don’t assume the world—or Google—is out to get you. Take advantage of the tools out there and make the system work for you.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!