Online Search Aggregator

August 9, 2013 by Indro

A real search aggregator is yet to emerge as a new venture, but I can see that such an initiative might be more successful than a news aggregator for it has the potential to create user value through search engine bias. This effect is not present in the case of news aggregator sites/engines.

Let me explain. When news papers publish news the manner in which the news items are chosen are presumably influenced by what would generate the most traffic. When search engines display search results clicks on sponsored links rather than the user traffic that probably play a more important role in their revenue. Thus I am guessing that the search engines may have more incentives to manage the search results than then news sites have incentives to determine which news to list and which list not to present. While I am skipping a supporting argument for the sake of brevity, most people can understand the search engines greater incentive to manage the result, giving rise to a bias which is likely to be absent in the case of news sites.

A search aggregator that pools the results of the individual search engines may be able to cancel out this bias, creating more value for a typical user. Greater user value has the immediate effect of generating a greater traffic, and thus greater ad revenue.

Does this violate copyright or IP laws, that would presumably depend on how the aggregation is done. What is clear is that there is money to be made by aggregating search results by standing on the shoulder of the giant search engines.

Cheap Talk

A blog about economics, politics and the random interests of forty-something professors

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