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I'm trying to decide how concerned I should be about Obama being a magic keyword and Romney not. On the one hand, Obama has been president for nearly four years; the number of searches for him will have been high and consistent. On the other hand, Google is so central to information flow today, having it decide which candidate should get special treatment is disturbing.

I'm mollified somewhat that the Obama magic results that came up when searching for Romney were from Fox News[1], but I still feel a faint disease at the whole concept.

I've been using DDG for several months now and like it. It hasn't matched Google on technical searches, but on general information searches, I prefer the results to be less biases by me.

1. I would personally prefer to never see a link to Fox News. However, if every search for Obama was extolling his virtues and every search for Obama was extolling his virtue, my unease would be outright disgust and I would be contacting my Congressman. My unease comes from not knowing why they might show me something, other than to echo back what I already think, wchich is noot a very useful set of information. I already know that.




Google sees how people followup queries over time. So they know the relative frequencies of the four distinct progressions:

  [Obama], [Iran], [Obama Iran]
  [Obama Iran]
  [Romney], [Iran], [Romney Iran]
  [Romney Iran]
The triggering could be as simple as the fact that {[Obama], [Iran], [Obama Iran]} happens more often than {[Romney], [Iran], [Romney Iran]}.

And that difference could be because people searching one path are slightly more likely to keep refining simple queries ("try, try again"), versus other people more likely to combine-up-front ("measure twice, cut once").

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