The claim that Google “organizes the world’s knowledge and makes it universally accessible and valuable” has given it an aura of objectivity. Because of its search dominance and the loss of most competitors, its link listings appear even more canonical.
Search Atlas makes it easy to observe how different versions of Google’s search engine in other parts of the world respond to the same query differently. In addition, it shows how Google’s services might reflect or amplify cultural differences or government preferences.
- As seen by the different results, the idea of search engines being neutral is a myth.
- Search Atlas is unable to explain why different Google versions show the world in different ways.
- The idea could serve as a means of explaining the true nature of search engines to a larger audience.
“Any attempt to quantify relevance necessarily encodes moral and political priorities.”