I find it really interesting that there are heated debates going on right now by groups of well-meaning people who feel strongly that they are defending our rights to free and equal access to the Internet.
But we don’t even have that now.
What you are doing is asking Google to send you listings that Google believes you should read. Did you ever wonder how Google decides what sites are most applicable to your search? I do. So does every web master I have ever spoken with. No one knows for sure because Google won’t tell you.
How scary is that? Very scary. Google can decide anything it wants. It can set up any algorithm it chooses and filter out any web site that it wants. There is no reason given and no promise of transparency. In truth, transparency is Google’s sworn enemy.
It is a catch-22. Google does not reveal its criteria out of fear that unscrupulous companies would then exploit its rules and unfairly reach the top of the list of web sites returned on your search. I’m sure this is a probable outcome. But would you be comfortable with any media company waving 90% influence on deciding what news you received? But that is exactly what you do every time you Google something.
Net Neutrality begins at home. Use other search engines and you are allowing the Internet to deal with the bias of any despotic search engine.
Freedom of information and fairness in its distribution is certainly Google’s goal. But, as a monopoly on searches, it has become the web’s dictator. If you know this and stand idly by, you are a part of the problem.
Vote with your browser. Set a different search engine as a default (like Bing, for example) and you will be doing your part in making the web neutral again.