18. juli 2010

Google and The New York Times Battle Over Search Neutrality

While it's net neutrality that has consumed tech-policy wonks in Washington recently, it seems search neutrality, the belief that Web search results ought to be unbiased, is rapidly becoming the topic du jour. Although search engines such as Google and Bing (ahem, "decision" engines) claim their complicated algorithms produce impartial results, some observers are beginning to call for government regulation. Here's why.

The New York Times argues that Google in particular has too much power over the Internet, with roughly two-thirds of all search queries handled by the service. With the methods of its algorithm kept highly secret, any tweaks to the system by Google are left unmonitored, and could potentially be self-serving. "Rivals have accused Google of placing the Web sites of affiliates like Google Maps or YouTube at the top of Internet searches and relegating competitors to obscurity down the list," explains the NYT, which points out that its recent acquisition of flight-info software company ITA should invite even more scrutiny.

Source: Fast Company
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