June 2019 has been defined as a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden. Data from 40 million US browser-based searches show that roughly half of Google searches does not lead to any click. This means that half of organic search (“googling” something) does not reach web properties that do not belong to Google. If you pair this data with the fact that 94% of all browser-based desktop searches happen on a Google property, what emerges is not really an open web. While the business and technical reasons for how we got here are quite straightforward, the cultural ones may owe a lot to tech fascination with the word “tool”.
“Tool talk encodes an entire attitude to politics—namely, a rejection of politics in favor of tinkering. In the sixties, Brand and the “Whole Earth Catalog” presented tools as an alternative to activism”,
points out the NY Times. Another reason is that a vast amount of human knowledge has been dismissed from tech development. Tech entrepreneur Patrick Collison and economist Tyler Cowen called recently for a new science of progress, defining progress as an understudied subject. 🤦🏽♀️ Needless to say, the internet made clear that there are quite a few disciplines studying that matter, and that to really disrupt, tech needs to listen to actual researchers. Sometimes, you can’t just google it. 🤷🏽♀️