The Google Dilemma

I’ve posted online my latest draft, The Google Dilemma. It’s based on a couple of talks I gave this spring—one to a group of high-school students and one to a group of law students. Very loosely, it’s an attempt to explain why people should care about search engine law. I take five search queries—two of them seemingly harmless and three highly controversial—and tell their stories. How does Google decide which sites to return in response to one of them, and whose ox is gored when it does? It’s short—by legal academic standards, at least—and, I hope, both readable and entertaining.

“The Google Dilemma” is a very interesting piece. As a medical librarian I am very concerned about physician use of the Internet and specifically Google to acquire information related to the care of patients. Concerns range from not obtaining the best information, settling for a quick and easy answer, and now, with the perspective you provide, the possibility that Google search results might be skewed in favor of some special interest group that has figured out how to use the Google algorithms to their best advantage and not to the best interest of the public’s well-being. If you have any thoughts on using Google and its relationship to medical information I would be interested….specifically, any litigation that may exist linking malpractice and physician use of Google for clinical decision-making. I look forward to more from you.