Seek and Ye Shall Find

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Suely Fragoso (Unisinos, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch053
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Abstract

This chapter proposes that search engines apply a verticalizing pressure on the WWW many-to-many information distribution model, forcing this to revert to a distributive model similar to that of the mass media. The argument for this starts with a critical descriptive examination of the history of search mechanisms for the Internet. Parallel to this there is a discussion of the increasing ties between the search engines and the advertising market. The chapter then presents questions concerning the concentration of traffic on the Web around a small number of search engines which are in the hands of an equally limited number of enterprises. This reality is accentuated by the confidence that users place in the search engine and by the ongoing acquisition of collaborative systems and smaller players by the large search engines. This scenario demonstrates the verticalizing pressure that the search engines apply to the majority of WWW users, that bring it back toward the mass distribution mode.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Directory: A directory service is a system which stores and organizes information about a database, generally in a hierarchical format

World Wide Web: Online hypertextual space in which documents are identified by addresses called URLs (Universal Resource Locator) and are connected to one another by selectable links

Gatekeeping: Developed by White (1950), the concept of gatekeeping denominates the selection process which determines which information will be made public in mass media

Mass Media: Communication systems in which messages are delivered to very large audiences. The association to broadcasting led to the use of the expression mostly in relation to radio and television, but printed material, in particular newspapers and magazines, can also be considered mass media.

Search Engine: Program which performs searches for keywords or expressions in documents (in this case, Web documents) and returns a list of results

Mass Media: Communication systems in which messages are delivered to very large audiences. The association to broadcasting led to the use of the expression mostly in relation to radio and television, but printed material, in particular newspapers and magazines, can also be considered mass media.

World Wide Web: Online hypertextual space in which documents are identified by addresses called URLs (Universal Resource Locator) and are connected to one another by selectable links

Gatekeeping: Developed by White (1950), the concept of gatekeeping denominates the selection process which determines which information will be made public in mass media

Crawler: Program or script which methodically browses databases collecting data about its elements

Boolean Search: Search that uses Boolean logic operators (such as AND, OR and NOT) to formulate conditions relating to the key words or phrases to be located in a document or set of documents

Boolean Search: Search that uses Boolean logic operators (such as AND, OR and NOT) to formulate conditions relating to the key words or phrases to be located in a document or set of documents

Collaborative Systems: Also known as social systems, are constituted by the collaboration of the users

Crawler: Program or script which methodically browses databases collecting data about its elements

Directory: A directory service is a system which stores and organizes information about a database, generally in a hierarchical format

Collaborative Systems: Also known as social systems, are constituted by the collaboration of the users

Search Engine: Program which performs searches for keywords or expressions in documents (in this case, Web documents) and returns a list of results

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