Skip to main content

Researcher Attacked For Google Bias Study

A Harvard professor claims that Google is trying to discredit him after he released a study accusing the search giant of bias.

Ben Edelman released the study 'Measuring Bias in Organic Web Search', which claimed that Google gave preference to its own products while displaying search results.

In the study, Edelman found that Google tended to give preference to its own sites, ahead of those from others.

In response, the California-based search giant claimed that the professor was working on behalf of rival Microsoft.

“The report is highly biased, ignoring contrary examples like 'search engine', 'book flights' or 'directions', and failing to account for other reasons why certain sites rank highly,” Google said in a statement.

"Mr Edelman is a longtime paid consultant for Microsoft, so it's no surprise that he would construct a highly biased test that his sponsor would pass and that Google would fail," it said.

"Google never artificially favours our own services in our organic web search results, and we perform extensive user testing to ensure that search results are ranked in a way that provides users with the most useful answer," it added.

But Edelman told BBC News that the attacks are just an attempt to divert the attention from the study's findings.

“I don't mind personal attacks, to be honest, because I think it shows they can't argue against the research. That's what they've done to most of my recent research,” he said.