Business, Economics and Jobs

Google and Republicans: a fascinating experiment


Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry is interviewed by while visiting the Iowa State Fair August 15, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa.


Chip Somodevilla

The best ideas are, usually, the simplest ones.

We have our friends over at Slate to thank for today's best story idea on the web. 

In this wonderfully entertaining slideshow, Elizabeth Weingarten presents what Google searchers are really looking for in their Republican presidential candidates.

The idea is simple, thanks to Google. 

Here's how it works:

When you type in a search term, the Google Machine helpfully suggests other topics right below the search bar, essentially giving you an instant view of what other people are also looking for at that moment. 

So, for example:

Enter the search term "Rick Perry," a huge trending term on Google over the past week or so, and you get the following additional entries:

Rick Perry wife

Rick Perry for president

Rick Perry gun

Rick Perry hair

For illustrative purposes, here's a screen grab from the Slate slideshow:

But that's only the beginning of the fun.

The search term "Michele Bachmann" yields, as Weingarten discovers, hot, husband, bikini, quotes, and crazy.

"Rick Santorum" offers up family, gay, wiki, and wife.

"Mitt Romney" produces family, young, funny, and — of course — hair.

You can view the entire Slate slideshow here

Oh, and what does "Barack Obama" get you?

According to my own up-to-the-nanosecond search just now, it's Twitter, biography, and in another sign that the Republicans rule Google, birth certificate.

As Google continues to push deeper and deeper into our everyday lives, it's a comfort to know that, at least when it comes to politics, we all know what the real issues are.