Credibility in Web Search Engines

Lewandowski, D.: Credibility in Web Search Engines. In: Apostel, Shawn; Folk, Moe: Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Evaluating Computer-Mediated Communication. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2012. DOI:10.4018/978-1-4666-2663-8.ch008

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Web search engines apply a variety of ranking signals to achieve user satisfaction, i.e., results pages that provide the best-possible results to the user. While these ranking signals implicitly consider credibility (e.g., by measuring popularity), explicit measures of credibility are not applied. In this chapter, credibility in Web search engines is discussed in a broad context: credibility as a measure for including documents in a search engine’s index, credibility as a ranking signal, credibility in the context of universal search results, and the possibility of using credibility as an explicit measure for ranking purposes. It is found that while search engines—at least to a certain extent—show credible results to their users, there is no fully integrated credibility framework for Web search engines.