Search engines can make you myopic

Search engines can make you myopic
Photo by Krissana Porto / Unsplash

You can find millions of pages on any topic by just typing a few keywords. Search engines are seen as an easy way to understand the world around you. But the convenience of search engines hides a dark side.

First, if your primary method of research is just googling, then all you get is a laundry list of opinions with which to agree. But if you thought for yourself, your better solution might be different from what you see online. It's okay to expand your horizon through search engines, but not to extent of outsourcing your thinking.

Second, the content that rank highly could be biased and without context. The definition of relevance used by search engines are often biased toward narrow-mind pages, without bringing into light the larger context and alternate viewpoints. In short, you get exactly what you're looking for rather than what you should really be to looking at, resulting in a potential confirmation bias.

Third, webmasters often optimise for high search traffic. That's what the whole SEO industry is about. This is why you find more articles on popular topics rather than important unpopular ones. More eyeballs to a content means it has to be that much generic, and that less useful to specific situations.