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Greenmother
05-19-2011, 10:45 AM
As an eclectic, secular homeschooler, I rely a lot on the internet to find pertinent material for our coursework. That means books, other websites, blogs, newstories, etc., And I have noticed that my search engine results on mainstream search engines like google have been ---riddled with huge gaps in information.

Take this site for instance. I had conducted many searches on Google and other mainstream sites for secular, non-religious, homeschoolers and never once did this site show up on my search.

Not until I started using another search engine that didn't have the so-called "Optimization" search software, was I able, to find this site and others.

I have linked to a page at Youtube for a TED video that talks about Internet Bubble Filters. This explains a lot of what I have witnessed in the past couple years regarding the *diminishing returns of my internet searches involving any kind of research.

In the recent past, when working with friends in other states, we would do identical searches and the results would be different. Now I find because these filters alter the local algorithims to fit certain electronic, geographical stereotypes. They would say, "Why here it is right here, how could you miss that?" And my response would be, "I didn't see it, I still don't, please send me a link." *It being whatever it was we were searching for at that moment.

For someone who regularly conducts in-depth research online, to me this is the equivalent of raiding the Card Catalogue in a library, so that your questions and answers are shaped by certain information-omissions.

How can you be thorough if you are deprived of even the ability to frame your search by seeing what information is available.

I have even had this filter out official government documents. And when you consider that most public libraries do keep their card catalogues online, especially for a region or state, I often wonder how that affects a search-result, if their internal system searches, are dependent or interact in any way with these larger commercial search engines, like Bing, Yahoo, Google or Webcrawler?

To me this appears to be much larger. Most of our Government Document Repositories now store their material online. Our Libraries also store most of their card catalogues online. Politically charged material [including news stories and press releases] could be filtered out because the local search algorithim anticipates that you are most likely going to adhere to the party majority, and blogs would also be subject to this as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG4BA7b6ORo