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Google and the Digital Divide by Elad Segev

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3

Google and the politics of online searching

In the world of the Web, esse est indicato in Google: to exist is to be indexed on Google. (Hinman, 2005: 21)

There is no doubt that Google is the most popular search engine today worldwide. Google provides information to more than 775 million different users every month (Sullivan, 2006; Kopytoff, 2007a; comScore, 2009a), which is about half of the entire online population (Internet World Stats, 2009). It has also been estimated that 74 per cent of users turn first to Google when they search for information on the web (Hinman, 2005). This chapter investigates Google’s operation and information strategies, looking at their implications with respect to the digital divide.

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