Source: 8-6-15 Wired.com
It should be no surprise to anyone in the tech industry that ‘he who controls the search engine controls the window to the (online) world’. Especially if you consider that most journalist in the effort to quickly verify or validate stories reference other websites and online news agencies.
How Google can control an election.
Imagine searching for information on a candidate, Google’s ranking algorithms control what articles and webpages are displayed in what order. Buy a subtle manipulation of these algorithms negative articles on a given candidate can be ‘raised’ (i.e. brought to the top of the results) whereas positive articles and those covering the key issue of the candidate can be buried several pages deep (or removed completely).
Considering that any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Guru -a person who studies search engine mechanics to help companies or entities control their ranking against others on a search engine- will explain that search engine algorithms are a extremely well guarded secret – only a key few know precisely what it takes to make a web page *especially those with common or popular terms* to come out on top. It stands to reason that one can ‘explain away’ why a given candidates positive search results were hidden or displayed in a much lower ranking (basically the same as hidden) as just a symptom of the secret algorithm, with no need to explain the delta.
Check out this Wired article for more details http://www.wired.com/2015/08/googles-search-algorithm-steal-presidency/