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Two computer scientists from the City College of New York have set out to define and measure bias in search engines.
We've been looking and waiting for such studies to be done for years. Up until now, the search engine industry has been run by cowboy management. There has been no regulation, oversite, or fences that the search engines have had as a guide.
The authors have a point, namely that the potential for bias in search results is greater today than ever before. On the other hand, no search technology, or for that matter, paper finding tool exists without bias.
Title: "Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matters"
From the journal: The Information Society, 16(3):1-17, 2000
otherwise we may as well just have Google and let the others fade away
the idea that there is a single perfect set of search results for a query is obviously nonsense if you look at it in practical terms...the information is being sought for a purpose...that purpose biases the searcher...in an idea web they can then pick the search engine that has the same bias
there is far too much emphasis placed on the idea that all search engines should be aiming to be the only search engine you will ever need
The analog to this (no pun intended) is that, yes, it's no problem working with a biased source of info, but it takes time to discern exactly what the biases are. Just part of being an educated person, I guess...