U.S. public relations firm Edelman polled 33,000 people in 28 countries, and found that
people trust search engine results more than any other media:
QZ redid the graphic to make it easier to read:
Edelman also argues that search engines and the Internet have turned traditional power structures – and the sources of influence – on their head:
This sounds good … but remember that the NSA and its British counter-part the GCHQ MASSIVELY manipulate the web – including making some websites artificially popular and others less so – to spread their influence and promote their agendas.
And everyone obtains different search engine results … even if they run the exact same search. For example, Google gathers information across all of its platforms, and personalizes search engine results based upon what you’ve looked for in past searches.
So search engine results are not totally objective … they are based upon our past expressions of interest.
And some even question whether the search engine companies themselves are really as neutral as they claim. We express no opinion on that topic, other than to note it.