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A game theory-based analysis of search engine non-neutral behavior

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Author Info

  • Luis GUIJARRO

    (UPV - Universitat Politecnica de Valencia [Espagne] - Universitat Politécnica de Valencia)

  • Vicent PLA

    (UPV - Universitat Politecnica de Valencia [Espagne] - Universitat Politécnica de Valencia)

  • Bruno Tuffin

    (INRIA - IRISA - DIONYSOS - INRIA - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS : UMR6074)

  • Patrick Maillé

    ()
    (RSM - Département Réseaux, Sécurité et Multimédia - Institut Mines-Télécom - Télécom Bretagne - Université Européenne de Bretagne (UEB))

  • Pierre COUCHENEY

    (INRIA - IRISA - DIONYSOS - INRIA - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS : UMR6074)

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    Abstract

    In recent years, there has been a rising concern about the policy of major search engines, and more specifically about their ranking in so-called organic results corresponding to keywords searches. The associated proposition is that their behavior should be regulated. The concern comes from search bias, which refers to search rankings based on some principle different from the expected automated relevance. In this paper, we analyze one behavior that results in search bias: the payment by content providers to the search engine in order to improve the chances to be located and accessed by a search engine user. A simple game theory-based model is presented where both a search engine and a content provider interact strategically, and the aggregated behavior of users is modeled by a demand function. The utility of each stakeholder when the search engine is engaged in such a non-neutral behavior is compared with the neutral case when no such side payment is present.

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    File URL: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/72/51/80/PDF/guijarro2012game.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00725180.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Publication status: Published - Presented, NGI 2012: 8th Euro-NF Conference on Next Generation Internet, 2012, Karlskrona, Sweden
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00725180

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00725180
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    Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

    Related research

    Keywords: Search engine; Neutrality; Nash equilibrium; User welfare;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
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