Representation: Search Engine Analysis

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                         Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys is an American football team in the National Football League who happens to be one of the most prominent teams with one of the largest fan bases. Consequently, the Dallas Cowboys are at the forefront of media exposure and have significant online traffic dedicated to individuals digging for information on the franchise. When looking up “Why are the Dallas Cowboys” on three different search engines many of the same results appeared. The three search engines used were Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Out of the three browsers used Yahoo had three outliers that stood out when asking this question. A reason for this could be that yahoo does have a specific browser designated for their own organic sports news. Besides this, the results found were generally the same for each search engine.

            In general, a belief that the public appears to have towards the Dallas Cowboys is that they are undeserving of all the attention that they receive nationally and from the media. This appears to be very clear in the search results that come up across the board. Many common results that were found when searching “Why are the Dallas Cowboys” ended in so valuable, so popular, hated, in the NFC east, and lastly called the cowboys.  Besides the result that refers to them being in the NFC east, which is pertaining to their geographic location, the rest of the results are associated with their reputation. This can be tied to the component of the circuit of culture known as representation. Since the media is constantly talking about the Dallas Cowboys many people may search for different questions about them related to what is being talked about in the media. Due to the fact that in the past 20 years the Cowboys have not had any major success, this could be a part of why their value and popularity are in question. It is also interesting how none of the platforms said, “so good”, yet they all had a result that stated, “so bad”. This goes on to further the narrative that these search engines are negatively promoting the Dallas Cowboys.

            The results generated by each search engine are similar because they represent the overall general beliefs of the public. Even though each platform has a different set of users their base still appears to have the same set of core beliefs. This is the idea that the Cowboys are one of the most popular teams, even though they are not that “good”. It is important to note that having true or reliable information is not necessarily the main priority of any of these engines. In Safiya Umoja Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression she states “I suggest that something other than the best, most credible, or most reliable output is driving Google. Of course, Google Search is an advertising company, not a reliable information company.”In this quote what Noble’s appears to be emphasizing is that at the end of the day these search engines are trying to appeal to their users. Historically, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the most successful teams in the NFL however this is not necessarily reflected in any of the search results, instead it goes along with the trend of bringing them down. Therefore, clearly, it is more important for these search engines to go along with what is currently popular within society rather than attempting to provide facts.

            For a new fan trying to get information about the Dallas Cowboys the results produced by these search engines can be harmful to the perception that they gain. If this is what they are first exposed to when going to learn more about the Cowboys it could possibly lead to them having a negative opinion of the Cowboys, even though this negative perception may not be grounded in truth. Furthermore, for future generations, the narrative that the Cowboys are undeserving of this attention will most likely be continued to be pushed due to these search engines spreading this agenda. This problem is very prevalent with search engine algorithms spreading false narratives and making it hard to reverse them because the people that are impacted the most do not have a lot of information on the topic.

            Overall, there are many factors that go into the results that come up in one’s search engine. They can be based on the algorithm put in place by the platform, what other users tend to search for, and what the user themselves have looked up in the past. Through looking up the Dallas Cowboys on three separate search engines the results that came up are in line with how they are perceived by the media and culturally. With search engines continuing to showcase results that are not always true, how the Dallas Cowboys are viewed by the average person will likely stay the same in the future. However, it is important to note that with more controversial topics the algorithms of search engines can continue to cause problems. This is seen in Algorithms of Oppression and must be addressed so that the negative implications are not detrimental to society.


Noble U. Safiya. “Introduction”. Algorithms of. Oppression (2018). New York Press.

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