News

How a Dispute Over Rap Lyrics Illustrates That Google Has Too Much Power

What doesn’t Google know? When I can’t figure out how to spell a word, I Google some approximation of it. If I want to remember what’s in a martini, Google’s got my back. When I can’t remember the lyrics to a song, I Google it. In all of these cases, more and more often I never ended up leaving Google to learn what I need to know. Over the years, the Google search engine has unsubtly shifted from a product that primarily sends users to other websites to, first and foremost, a place that provides lots of answers on Google.com. When the first thing on a Google search page is that handy martini recipe—sourced from some cocktail site—that’s what Google calls a “featured snippet.” A lot of other websites absolutely hate it.

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