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

  • 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

    (DIONYSOS - Dependability Interoperability and perfOrmance aNalYsiS Of networkS - Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique - INRIA - IRISA-D2 - RÉSEAUX, TÉLÉCOMMUNICATION ET SERVICES - IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - ENS Rennes - École normale supérieure - Rennes - INRIA - SUPELEC - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Télécom Bretagne - CNRS)

  • Patrick Maillé

    ()

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

  • Pierre COUCHENEY

    (DIONYSOS - Dependability Interoperability and perfOrmance aNalYsiS Of networkS - Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique - INRIA - IRISA-D2 - RÉSEAUX, TÉLÉCOMMUNICATION ET SERVICES - IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UBS - Université de Bretagne Sud - ENS Rennes - École normale supérieure - Rennes - INRIA - SUPELEC - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - Télécom Bretagne - CNRS)

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

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    Date of creation: 25 Jun 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00725180
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00725180
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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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