In this essay I am going to discuss critically the objectivity of search engines. The purpose of my research was to deny the title of the topic. Hereby I am going to discuss some notions such as ,,Filter Bubble”; written by the authors involved in personalization of search engine.
We all as users are using web search services like Google Web Search every day(World Wide Web Conference, 2013).It became our source of information, whether we are searching news, hot topics, study material, sport results, job or a place of our holiday. The search engines provide usually a high number of search results. But when we are searching information, we usually click only on first twenty results if so, we rarely go beyond(Bar-Ilan,1998). There comes so called ,,winner-take-all” effect which means that the top placed results are the most visited ones and because of this phenomenon obviously web publishers want to be placed in the first results(Goldman, 2005-2006). So with that acknowledgement we need to move beyond the thinking of search engine as only the service helping people find out what they need the most.
Nevertheless the ,,winner-take-all” effect is not the only issue. Already Parisier (2011) pointed that most of us assumed that when ,,google“ some term, all of us will see the same result. Also Goldman (2005-2006) claimed that people naively think that what search engine offers us is neutral result without bias. But is it really true? Search engines represent in economy media company and therefore they act like one. Their aim is to satisfy their customers and so the causes that some content emerge above the other. This is how arises ,,search engine bias.”(Goldman, 2005-2006).. In 1998 Bar-Ilan carried a study for couple of months about web search engines and he discovered that search engines results are not stable and they are changing constantly. The URLs were disappearing from the search engines ; they were ,,forgotten.” Why? In order to add new URL into their search database the search engine needs to delete some of the existing URL addresses. There are certain possibilities Also there are other possibilities what can happen with web results: they are either filtered, re-ranked or they are modified(Keenoy, Levene, 2005).
Another issue is filtering. We know that filtering has been happening for a longer period on some levels. For example users are placed into groups based on their similar interests. On the level of recommended movies, music and books it enjoys a great success(Nanas et al,2010). For example we have YouTube recommendation, Amazon recommendation... However, can we also have personalized daily news and personalized search engines? Are we aware of the consequences?
Beside these problems I want to draw my attention on personalization of search engines, which became a struggle between users and search engine providers.
Google was the first major search engine which offered to his customers personalized web search results....