Search and Advertising

Economists are interested in how the design of ad auctions affects search engine revenues, and how access to the Internet – and thus to search engines – affects retail prices and possibly leads to higher prices for certain consumers.

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Stanford Economist Musters Big Data to Shape Web Future

"We’ve never had data on that scale before to study behavior,” which “creates opportunities for new science. I want to help the economics field embrace those opportunities." — Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Susan Athey
Source: Bloomberg
June 26, 2013

Microsoft Sends EU Report Questioning Google Results

"Impartiality of search results will become all the more important in the years to come, given that screen sizes on smartphones and tablets are smaller than on traditional PCs. Smaller screens mean there is even less room for competing services to appear in Google’s mobile search." — Susan Athey, Professor, Stanford University

Susan Athey
Source: Bloomberg
March 25, 2013

Some Say Google Search Decision May Benefit Consumers

"There’s never been any evidence that consumers were harmed by Google’s practices and no evidence that Google ever engaged in any manipulation that violates antitrust law." — Eric Goldman, Professor, Santa Clara University

Eric Goldman
Source: The Boston Globe
January 4, 2013

Borking Antitrust: Google Secures Its Monopoly

Without strong action, centrifugal tendencies will increasingly dominate the internet, as innovation will centralize in the few mega-firms capable of promoting new services on an ever-less-level playing field. — Frank Pasquale, Professor, Seton Hall University and Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor, University of Virginia

Frank Pasquale
Source: Dissent Magazine
January 3, 2013

Google Pushed Hard Behind the Scenes to Convince Regulators

"Google had the Microsoft case as a template. Google just had to convince the regulators it was sufficiently different from Microsoft." — Kevin Werbach, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Kevin Werbach
Source: The New York Times
January 2, 2013

FTC: Google Did Not Break Antitrust Law with Search Practices

"It has been the single issue that the antitrust system has had trouble dealing with since 1890. That’s because the consumer impacts typically are mixed." — William Kovacic, Professor, George Washington University

William E. Kovacic
Source: The Washington Post
January 2, 2013

Micro Stars, Macro Effects

Susan Athey
Source: The Economist
November 24, 2012

Microsoft Makes 'Do Not Track' the Default

Lorrie Faith Cranor
Source: American Public Media: Marketplace
June 4, 2012
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TAP Blog

Private browsing: What it does – and doesn’t do – to shield you from prying eyes on the web

Carnegie Mellon University computer science and privacy expert Lorrie Cranor and her colleague Hana Habib, Graduate Research Assistant with CMU, explain what the private-browsing tools available with most browsers actually provide users. They clarify: “don’t confuse privacy for anonymity.”

Lorrie Faith Cranor

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Fact Sheets

Search Engines, Advertising, and Auctions

Search engines – such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and a variety of other smaller search engines – help users find what they are looking for online by finding web pages that match user-entered keywords. Search engines are free to users, but typically earn revenue through paid advertising.

Featured Article

Media as Data Extraction: Towards a New Map of a Transformed Communications Field

Increasingly, media narratives are associated with consumer data collection. Media is becoming more closely linked to economic transactions and structures.

By: Joseph Turow, Nick Couldry