Search Engines

pink box new (somewhat stolen from the H3). look at other todo box too. --MF, 12/21/17

BH: Flush the video. And promote the TIF to FYTD. Maybe some of the existing FYTD should be ITIT.

MF: could use review/light revision; tough to have 2.17 SI labs back to back

On this page, you will learn about search engines and consider whether it matters which tools you use to search the web.

If your connection blocks YouTube, watch the video here.
  1. Open the search engine you usually use, the DuckDuckGo search engine, and another search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Search for a phrase, like "Internet search engines" or "New York restaurants." Do you get the same search results at each site? Try a search related to politics, such as "Barack Obama."
  2. Discuss with a partner, then share with the class. How do you think a search engine works? What algorithm might the search engine use to decide what to show you?
  3. Search results are different in different countries, even from the same search engine. Investigate the reasons for this. (To start, do a web search for "search censorship.")
  4. In Blown to Bits, the authors claim that "search is a new form of control over information" (p. 111) and "search is power" (p. 145). Why might it be important to think of the social implications behind searching on the Internet?
photo of Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang (born 1968) is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo Inc. Yang’s family immigrated to America from Taiwan when he was ten years old. Although at that time he only knew one English word, "shoe", Yang went on to graduate with a BS and a MS in electrical engineering from Stanford University. While studying at Stanford, Yang co-created an Internet website which acted as a directory of other websites. Eventually named Yahoo!, this website became the most popular search engine and starting point for web users by 1998. In 2016, Yahoo! was sold to Verizon for $5 Billion.

Article: History of Yahoo

  1. Google keeps track of searches. You can check out the day's trending topics or the top searches of 2014 (or any year back to 2004) in the United States (or globally). What are benefits and costs to society in general from this tracking? What are benefits and costs to individual users from this tracking?