Using Google search results to compare candidates

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Last year I posted an article titled "Use Google to factcheck Zeitgeist," where I used search results to investigate the accuracy of statements in the movie Zeitgeist. My investigation was only partly serious--mostly tongue-in-cheek--but that didn't stop somebody from taking it too seriously in the comments section:

"looking up general words on google disproves nothing, i myself am unsure of how much zeitgeist may lie or bend the truth, but don't think for a second doin twenty minutes worth of research negates all arguments made within the movie."

Hey.. This is the Internet(s)! Anyone can do twenty minutes of research, blog it, and claim it supports their argument. Step off!

But it got be thinking: What other specific searches can we perform and distort to make broad generalizations? For example, what of the candidates in this 2008 election? Can we determine who is a liar, a cheat, or a fraud using Google? Let's see..

mccain liar: 4,890,000 results
obama liar: 5,250,000 results

mccain honest: 10,700,000 results
obama honest: 13,900,000 results

Clearly we've learned that both candidates are liars, but they're also honest, and they're more honest than they are liars. Obama is more of a liar than McCain, but he's also more honest... FASCINATING!

Who has more skeletons in their closet?

mccain troubled past: 332,000 results
obama troubled past: 8,040,000 results

Uh-oh! Who would be better for foreign policy?

mccain diplomacy: 2,580,000 results
obama diplomacy: 2,710,000 results

Pretty close there. But what really matters is who is better on "the issues":

mccain issues: 56,400,000 results
obama issues: 77,700,000 results

Big lead there for Obama. And finally, who has the better Internet marketing gurus:

mccain: 150,000,000 results
obama: 210,000,000 results

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That last one is kind of the bottom line...

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This page contains a single entry by Robert W. Rose published on November 1, 2008 11:33 PM.

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