This could be the start of a trend with Google displaying more personal and public record information about people directly on their result pages whenever you search for a person by name.
Google’s people search results now include campaign finance information for the 2016 presidential candidates, making it easier for people to do background research on a candidate without having to visit multiple campaign finance websites. Google rolled out the changes to their search results for presidential candidates on March 15th.
When you do a name search for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or John Kasich on Google, you will get campaign finance figures, search trends, biographical information and issue stances for the candidate directly on the right sidebar of Google’s search results.
A list of links to the candidate’s social media profiles can be found on the sidebar as well.
Biographical information on the candidates comes from Wikipedia while political issue information comes from the campaign websites as well as various news sites. The campaign finance records shown by Google searches come from the Center for Responsive Politics ( OpenSecrets.org ).
Campaign funding information will include the total amount that comes from SuperPACs along with totals from individual donors as well as which business sectors and special interest groups have donated the largest sums to the candidate.
More specific candidate name searches on Google like “Hillary Clinton campaign finance” or “Donald Trump campaign finance” will yield more detailed candidate information related to the candidate’s fundraising; while searches like “Bernie Sanders issue stances” or “Ted Cruz issue stances” will return more details on the candidate’s position on political, economic and social issues.
For instance, a Google people search for “Hillary Clinton campaign finance” reveals that 31% of her total campaign donations have come from SuperPACs; while 69% has come from campaign donations. Google also shows that the industry group giving the most to the Clinton campaign is “Lawyers & Law Firms” with a total of $11,050,351 donated to Clinton’s presidential campaign.
A Google people search for “Donald Trump campaign finance” shows that just 7% of his total donations come from SuperPACs and 93% comes from donations. Google search results also shows that 64% of Trump’s campaign money, $17,534,058, comes from himself rather than a specific industry group.
A people search on Google for a candidate’s full name along with the keyphrase “issue stances” will show an overview of the candidate’s policy positions. For example, a Google search for “Ted Cruz issue stances” or “Bernie Sanders issue stances” will give information and sources for their views on issues like immigration, gun rights, foreign policy, taxes, health care, public safety, education, national security etc.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Google has future plans to include more and more personal details and public record information directly in their search results when users search for people by name on Google’s search engine.