Researchers from Northwestern University have used an algorithm to study Google search results - and found an overwhelming left-leaning bias towards news outlets such as CNN and The New York Times, which the search giant repeatedly promoted in November, 2017 according to the Daily Mail.
Of the 6,302 articles that appeared in Google's Top Stories box during November, 2017, 62% were from outlets considered to be left-leaning. CNN constituted 10% of the news promoted, while the New York Times and Washington Post came in at 6.5% and 5.6% respectively.
Fox News, on the other hand, accounted for just 3% of promoted stories.
Nearly all (86 percent) of the stories came from just 20 sources and of them, 62 percent were considered to be left-leaning.
The research sheds new light on the unprecedented power the search engine has in influencing the external traffic to news sites, a hot topic in the worlds of media and politics given Facebook's recently reduced output.
For example, the researchers found that CNN got a 24 percent bump in traffic as a result of having its stories featured in the 'Top Stories' box.