NEW YORK — The search engine that tracks political news has uncovered a record number of Trump-related searches that turn up in search results for the phrase “Trump Jr.,” even though the Republican presidential nominee’s son has not been charged with a crime.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Google’s News search engine, which tracks searches for the term “Trump,” has uncovered nearly 400,000 results since the election.
It is not clear whether the data is from all the searches made during the election or just those made during last week’s presidential debate.
“I was very surprised, because the number was very low,” said Mark Mahaney, chief executive of Search Engine Land, which monitors search activity.
“But it is still a pretty good sign.”
Google News is the primary tool for news sites, which use the search engine to analyze and present results to readers.
It has more than 70 million monthly active users.
Mahaney said the search for the “Trump” phrase, as well as other results, has increased by about 500,000 since the end of October, and that Google has not yet accounted for the increased searches.
“If we had an automated system that looked for the ‘Trump,’ we would have gotten this number in about a day,” Mahaney told The Associated Press.
“It is very hard to find that, because it’s not on the web, so I don’t know what’s going on there.
But it is a very, very, large number of searches.”
Mahaney’s company has tracked search trends for more than a year, and said it found about 250,000 more searches for “Trump.”
Google declined to comment.
Google News has been a top candidate for political coverage in recent years, even as the company has faced criticism over its lack of coverage of Trump and his ties to Russia.
Google’s own efforts to combat the influence of fake news and fake news bots have resulted in the company becoming the subject of a federal investigation.
Google has made efforts to boost the search quality of its News site, but the company is also investigating how to improve the search results and improve the overall search experience for users.
Google was also criticized earlier this year after the company blocked a Google News ad that criticized the government.