It happens billions of times every day. Somebody somewhere types something into a search bar on their computer screen. Maybe they're looking to book a trip, or buy a book, or find some information, or answer a question that's been bothering them. In 2010, search is how we have come to navigate the worlds of commerce and information online. Increasingly, search determines what we know, what we buy, even what we think.
And of all those billions of searchers around the world, nearly three quarters of them will do their searching on Google. If search -rules the web, then Google rules search. And that fact has given the company an enormous amount of economic clout. It has made the Google algorithm, the top-secret computer program that runs the search engine, the most important piece of intellectual property in the world. With so much at stake, it's no wonder that the clamour for more public scrutiny and even regulatory control is getting louder every day.
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