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Dissecting the Gatekeepers: Relational Perspectives on the Power of Search Engines
Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7417-0414
2009 (English)In: Deep Search: The Politics of Search beyond Google / [ed] Becker, Konrad; Stalder, Felix, Innsbruck, Wien, Bozen: Studienverlag, 2009, 117-132 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper engages in an in-depth discussion of the search engine Google, focusing on its relationship to webmasters and users. Attempts by webmasters to game the ranking system in order to boost the position of their websites are met by Google with a subtle combination of rewards and punishment. It is argued that this strategy involves the establishment of a disciplinary regime that enforces a certain norm for web publishing. Google’s relationship to the users, on the other hand, is characterized by less invasive forms of power. By inserting itself deeply into the users’ information environment, Google can collect and analyze unprecedented amounts of user data. It is argued that the modeling of segmented consumption behavior that these schemes are based upon involves a governmental form of power. It is a kind of power that aims at controlling differential behavior patterns by gaining an intimate statistical knowledge of a population and using this knowledge as a means of predictive risk management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Innsbruck, Wien, Bozen: Studienverlag, 2009. 117-132 p.
Keyword [en]
Google, Governmentality, Actor-Network-Theory, Agency, Database
National Category
Media Studies Communication Studies Information Studies Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies; Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38795ISBN: 978-3-7065-4795-6 (print)OAI: diva2:892942
Available from: 2016-01-11 Created: 2015-12-06 Last updated: 2016-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Röhle, Theo
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