Search engines are not biased towards well-known Web sites. In fact, they actually produce an egalitarian effect as to where traffic is directed, say researchers at the Indiana University School of Informatics. Their study, Topical interests and the mitigation of search engine bias, appears in the Aug. 7-11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and challenges the “Googlearchy” theory – the perception that search engines push Web traffic toward popular sites, thus creating a monopoly over lesser-known sites.
The study was cited by New Scientist, MIT Technology Review, Scientific American MIND, New Scientist Online, UPI, VNUnet, Forskning & Framsteg (Sweden), Sole 24 Ore (Italy), Ars Technica, and Slashdot. Interviews aired on BBC World Service (MP3), Deutschlandradio (MP3), WFHB (MP3), and WFIU. Earlier, preliminary reports of our findings appeared in The Economist, Slashdot, PhysicsWeb, IDS, Le Scienze (Italian Edition of Scientific American), and IEEE Spectrum Online (see also our piece in IEEE Spectrum). Radio interviews were broadcast by Italian Radio (MP3 in Italian) and Swiss Radio (MP3 in Italian). Other news sources that picked up the story include Monsters and Critics, PhysOrg, TechNews Daily, Political Gateway, Daily India, ACM TechNews (Aug 9, Aug 28 2006), IT Week, Science Daily, EurekAlert, computing, LaboratoryTalk, PC World, SDA Asia, What PC, BrightSurf, PC Authority, TRN, and hundreds of blogs.