Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/17/search-engine-bias-an-analysis-from-the-index/

In a recent article right here on SEW, Christopher investigated the manipulation of UK political party autosuggest queries, but what exactly is search engine bias?

Search engine bias is the unfair skewing of results and it sits within the intermediary mechanism of search systems (see diagram below) and biases can be split into three parts:

information retrieval system

1) Non-neutral search engine technology

Years ago studies focused exclusively on search software. Soon people realised that the user interface is of equal importance to any algorithm, as this is the view we get of the system and our successful use of it.

Now, this is where it gets even more interesting, the presentation of results influences free-thought which powers interaction. As a result, all search engines are bias because of the design and user interface.

We have two types of result inspection bias: quality and trust.

Quality bias means that the searcher will subconsciously take into account surrounding results and if they’re not relevant our behaviour can change, we may decide to retype our query or inspect a site we otherwise would not have dreamt of.

This is precisely the reason why engines have quality scores for their paid search systems, if paid results are irrelevant this can mess with organic result inspection.

For the most part search algorithms are generally very effective at presenting us with relevant results so we trust the engine, this is known as trust bias.

trust in me from jungle book

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