Can Search Engines Be Regulated?

A lively debate is playing out in Washington over the extent to which government regulators can prohibit Internet service providers from degrading content on their networks. It’s generally known as net neutrality. But a new debate is emerging over how — or if — regulators should oversee search engines.

Both Google and the New York Times weighed in on so-called search neutrality this week, and offered starkly contrasting views. Ecommerce Guide takes a look.

It’s no secret that businesses of all sizes have come to rely on search engines to steer traffic to their websites. An entire industry of analysts and consultants specializing in search engine optimization has sprung up to help businesses boost their visibility to Google and its rivals.

But that process is famously opaque: Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) page ranking formula is the product of closely guarded computer algorithms that evaluate numerous factors to determine the order in which sites are ranked in response to various search queries.

Read the full story at Ecommerce Guide:

Google Spars With NY Times Over ‘Search Neutrality’

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