The Search Engine

A critical account of the search engine

Search Engine Essay



The search engines today is convenient for people in many fields. It provides people with an information retrieval system for keyword searches of distributed digital information (Halavais, 2009). Compared to the search system before, the current state of the search engine has been changed a lot. It is the result of many years of evolution, and the accumulation of encoding of people’s relationships to each other and to their corporate knowledge (Halavias, 2009). Search engine certainly brings many benefits to people although it has some negative effects which make some people do not have benefits from the search engine. In this essay, the internet innovation search engine is going to be analyzed politically, economically and culturally. It will give a critical account of the genesis of the search engine and the way it becomes the part of historical trends in communication media. 

           Search engine in everyday life. Image: FirmBee. Some copyrights reserved 

Therefore, those who benefit from its transformative effects in a political, economic and social sense and who does not will be discussed as the main question.

The enesis of Search Engine:

In 1823, the British government funded an achievement by Charles Babbage to design a mechanical computer to instead the human “calculators” when they recognized that the mechanical one is more effective (Campbell-Kelley&Aspray, 1996). The above example of information technology replacing the human power indicate that internet affords the rapid delivery of growing amounts of information. Likewise, the emerging of the search engine was the replacement of the complex collections of the documents and the flows of information. The most obvious example is the library, which is important to many classical civilizations. The librarians organize and manage those collections before the emerge of the search engine. Therefore, the first kind of search engine was the representation of taking a huge collection and making an individual or group of librarians, which is also the gateway to the knowledge (Halavias, 2009). Nevertheless, the genesis of the search engine is the very first search tool on the internet called Archie ^, and then the rise of Gopher led to two new search programs Veronica and Jughead. They both searched the name of files and titles then stored in the index systems. However, the first web robot Wanderer could represent the first emerge of the web search engine. After then, a lot of search engine including Magellan, Yahoo!, AltaVista and so on appeared and became popular (Seymour&Frantsvog&Kumar, 2011).

Key Business in Search Engine:

Advertising is the key business in the search engine area. Google is the largest search engine advertising company. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. They owned 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through the stock of supervoting(“Great debates in media literacy”, n.d.). Google offers advertisements which appear in search results on with the use of Google AdWords or advertisements that appear on other websites through the Display Network and Google’s AdSense program. When people use Google, the advertisement is everywhere. They could enter any keyword to find the corresponding advertisement. For example, when we searched for keywords coffee in Google, the first thing that came out was not the introduction or history of coffee, but the advertisements and maps of many cafes around us. The keywords are related to the advertisements because of the Google AdWords auction system, which is focused around the keywords. The keywords are the words the advertisers choose a list of keywords to the target that is relevant to their business offerings. Also the words people are most likely to use when they search for the product. 

Screenshot: the result lists of searching for coffee in Google

People Who Have Political Benefits from Search Engine and Who Have not :

The search engine rankings will have effects on people’s voting of elections of political candidates. Some candidates are willing to pay to some search engines to make their search results ranking be above other candidates. It is certain that people tend only click on the first few results from a research. However, if an algorithm of a search engine ranks websites by the number of people visit them, it will keep some websites continuously be on the top. In this way, the result of the voters will be unduly affected. The results of some experiments with a hypothetical election showed that more than 36 percent of undecided voters decide to vote to the candidate who appeared in top results. Although some technology companies attempt to guard against that, it has already influenced the political situation (Diep, 2015). As a result, the candidates whose results ranking above others would have benefits from search engines. They would get more votes than others. Inversely, the candidates who didn’t appear on the results list have no benefits from the search engine. It is even unfair to them.

People Who Have Economic Benefits from Search Engine and Who Have not :

The search engines marketing has a significant influence on the economy because of the pervasion of search. According to economist Hal Varian, the annual increase Google search brings to US economy is $119 billion (Ha, 2011). Most of the companies and businesses that investing in search engine advertising and marketing whatever they are large or small could have economic benefits from the search engine.Search engine marketing creates a fair place for all the businesses, especially for those home-run businesses created with two or three people. Anyone could compete with anyone with search engine marketing (Spangler, 2018). This new type of search engine advertising is more effective than the old forms of advertising. Therefore, the old forms of advertising such as in the local newspaper, in the magazines, on the radio and so on would have less and less competitiveness in the advertising market. The businesses using old forms of advertising could have less economic benefits than that using search engine advertising. 

Economist Hal Varian, photo by Dean Takahashi, some rights reserved


People Who Have Social Benefits from Search Engine and Who Have not:

The search engine has already been a fundamental and essential part of modern people’s life experience. It could locate to online information more effectively and accurately and avoid wasting the time on locating to the desired the information. Consequently, it benefits all the individuals and organizations in society. However, this kind of machine-mediated information affects people’s interactions with each other. Before the search engine, people ask questions to others. But now they ask the machine for information. While they asking, they are forgetting the value of the machine makers and other valuable workers (Halavais, 2009). For example, more and more students tend to ask questions on Google instead of asking their teachers. In this way, the search engine makes fewer interactions between people and reduces the value of valuable workers in society.

My Experience with Search Engine: 

Search engine influences me a lot in my daily life in many ways. It has made my life more convenient, but it still brings me some problems. Before I came to Australia, the most commonly used search engine is Baidu which is prevalent in China. I used Baidu to search the answers to homework before I went to the university. I could find the answers of almost all the questions in any stages. It seemed very convenient and reduced the time I spend on homework. When I was used to asking the search engine for the answers, the problem is that I seldom communicated with the teachers. Thus, the teachers are not able to know what I missed in the class and what I did not really understand. The convenience of search engine made me rely on it but not think of the questions on my own. After I came to Australia and went to the university, I began to use Google for some daily and academic search. Most of the researches I used in the academic essays are from Google Scholar. It saved the time I spend on going to the library and finding the related books. However, the plenty of advertisement in Google made me spend more time to locate the accurate information. Sometimes, I could not distinguish the difference between the advertisement and my desired information. I have to check them one by one and find the research I need after filtering. Also, the search engine is a good place to shop. Every time I want to shop online, I just need to search for the keyword of the products and click on shopping. All the products with different prices on different websites all the worlds would be showed to me in Google.


The search engine has changed people’s life experience in the modern society. However, there are still some problems of the search engine. Politically, some candidates could have more benefits than others in the political elections through appearing on the top results lists in search engine. The search engine also bring great profits to some businesses and companies. It promotes the economic growth by advertising. However, for those who still used the old forms of advertising, they could not enjoy the benefits from the search engine.       In the society, it helps people effectively and accurately locate to the information, but also makes fewer interactions between people and reduces the value of valuable workers in society. It has many positive effects on internet users’ lives in many ways although it bring some problems to them. 

Referene list: 

Campbell-Kelly, M., Aspray, W. (1996). Computer: a history of the information machine , New York: Basic Books. Capra, R. G. & Pérez-Quiñones, M. A. 2005, “Using web search engines to find and refind information,” IEEE Computer , 38, 10, pp. 36– 42. Halavais, Alexander. (2013) Search Engine Society, Polity Press, ProQuest Ebook Central, Retrieved 11 Oct 2018 from usyd

Diep, F. (2015). How Search Engine Rankings Affect Which Politicians People Vote For, PacificStandard, Retrieved 10 Oct 2018 from

Great Debates in Media Literacy: Theory and Practice of media literacy. (n.d.). In Wikeversity, Retrieved 10 Oct 2018 from

Ha, A. (2011). What’s Google’s Economic Impact? Google Economist Says $119B+, VentureBeat, Retrieved 9 Oct 2018 from

Halavais, Alexander. (2013). Search Engine Society, Polity Press, ProQuest Ebook Central, Retrieved from usyd on 2018-10-11 21:21:47.

Seymour, T., Frantsvog, D., & Kumar, S. (2011). History of search engines. International Journal of Management and Information Systems, 15(4), 47-58. Retrieved 10 Oct 2018from

Spangler, J. (2018). Benefits of Search Engine Marketing,, Retrieved 9 Oct 2018 from


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


nineteen − 1 =