Practical Technology

for practical people.

Lies, damned lies and search engines

Bad Microsoft! Bad! No biscuit for you!

If Microsoft were a dog, I’d be scolding it for its latest foolishness. It turns out that rather than searching the Internet on its own, it’s been riding the coattails of Google. This isn’t just a theory. Google set up a clever trap, and Microsoft’s search engineers fell right into it.

It’s an interesting little story, and I’ll get into the juicy details in a minute. But the affair also leads me to ask the general public whether they have ever recognized that the results that search engines supply are inherently prone to bias and incompleteness. The extent to which that is true is something that every Web user should grapple with.

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