The First Search Result has an 80% Chance of being an Ad

28.02.2024

The main way to navigate the internet is through search engines. Unfortunately, search results are often pushed aside by advertisements. Google used to have ads on the side of their search results, but now they are starting to appear as the first results, which leads to lower quality information for users. In many countries, Amazon has become the go-to site for product searches. A recent study titled "Behind the Clicks: Can Amazon allocate user attention as it pleases?" found that products with increased visual prominence and positioning received more clicks, even if they had a higher price or worse ratings. This shift towards focusing on visibility and sales over relevancy is a major issue with both Google and Amazon's search algorithms. What if this attention was directed towards the best sustainable, energy-efficient, fair trade products? Or those with transparent supply chains? Sadly, neither Google nor Amazon has made innovative strides in this direction.