Woke up, did not smell the coffee

Andreas Ekström
2 min readJun 23, 2015

The EU has recently awoken to notice something that the rest of the world has known for years:

A search engine behaves like a search engine.

Well, that must be stopped, right?

If that sound stupid, it’s because it is. And the background is actually quite simple: the EU claims that Google is abusing its dominant position by frequently linking to their own services, such as Youtube, as well as to some of its commercial partners.

Search results aren’t, in conclusion, ”unbiased” enough.

The whole point of Googles search engine is that it attempts to measure relevance. Popularity is key: Since Youtube is one of the world’s most popular sites, a link directing you there is not exactly a controversial choice on Google’s part.

Google will show the way to the Google services as long as we continue to click, which is our way to tell Google that the results we received were correct and relevant. No legal process can or should be a part of that at all.

The concern behind it all is, however, worth pondering. What should we do with the notion that about 90 percent of all search queries on the web are performed with Google? And how about the fact that 95 percent of all queries will result in a click on one of the ten first search results?

This is more difficult than law:

Our own free will, as netizens, is the fundament of Google’s position. At what point is this free will no longer free? At what market share will a new internet user not even bother to even evaluate an alternative, but just consider Google pure infrastructure?

If you so wish, while thinking about that, do take a look at my latest TED talk. It’s about nine minutes long — and proves to you that unbiased search results are little more than a myth.


Andreas Ekström is a journalist, analyst, author and keynote speaker — based in Sweden, but working all around the world. He writes on Medium every Tuesday. Read more here: http://www.andreasekstrom.se/english/



Andreas Ekström

Educating for digital equality. Author, reporter. Won the Swedish “Speaker of the Year” award. Does this: bit.ly/1M6KSsq Once opening act for pope John Paul II.