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The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index – Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, German. (Submitted on 9 Mar 2019). arXiv:1903.03846 [cs.IR]

“A proposal for building an index of the Web that separates the infrastructure part of the search engine—the index—from the services part that will form the basis for myriad search engines and other services utilizing Web data on top of a public infrastructure open to everyone The Web as we know it would not be possible without search engines. They are an integral part of the Web and can also be seen as a part of the Web’s infrastructure. Google alone now serves over 2,000,000,000,000 search queries per year. While there seem to be a multitude of search engines on the market, there are only a few relevant search engines in terms of them having their own index (the database of web pages underlying a search engine). Other search engines pull results from one of these search engines (e.g., Yahoo pulls results from Bing), and should therefore not be considered search engines in the true sense of the word. Globally, the major search engines with their own indexes are Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu. Other independent search engines may have their own indexes, but not to the extent that their size makes them competitive on the global search engine market.While the search engine market in the U.S. is split between Google and Bing (and its partner Yahoo) with roughly two thirds to one-third, respectively , in most European countries, Google accounts for more than 90 percent of the market share. As this situation has been stable over at least the last few years, there have been discussions about how much power Google has over what users get to see from the Web, as well as about anti-competitive business practices, most notably in the context of the European Commission’s competitive investigation into the search giant.”

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