ceestand - 7:20 pm on Aug 23, 2007 (gmt 0)
"The way college students conduct online searches promotes a 'rich-get-richer' phenomenon, where popular sites get more hits regardless of relevance," he said.
Yes, I imagine this is true of all search engines. Since the user has little idea of the site's content prior to "hitting" them, by default the higher ranked sites would get hit first, and thus more often. Otherwise, the SE would have almost no value.
"This further cements the site's high rank, and makes it more difficult for lesser known sites to gain an audience."
Is this true? Do SEs count their own clickthrough rates towards a site's ranking? If so, eventually they'll create a self-fulfilling hubris prophecy.