Abstract - The Information Society 26(5)

The Politics of Search: A Decade Retrospective

Laura Granka

In Shaping the Web: Why the politics of search engines matters, Introna and Nissenbaum (2000) introduced scholars to the political, as well as technical, issues central to the development of online search engines. Since that time, scholars have critically evaluated the role that search engines play in structuring the scope of online information access for the rest of society, with an emphasis on the implications for a democratic and diverse Web. This article will describe the thought behind search engine regulation, online diversity, and information bias, and place these issues within the context of the technical and societal changes that have occurred in the online search industry. We will assess which of the initial concerns expressed about online search engines remain relevant today, and discuss how technical changes demand a new approach to measuring online diversity and democracy. We conclude with a proposal to direct the research and thought in online search going forward.

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