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Search engines are seen by their users as trustworthy and neutral intermediaries between users and the content of the web. This is not true, however, as can be seen from the self-interest of search engine operators, which has led, among other things, to an antitrust case by the European Commission against Google. On the other hand, content providers and the search engine optimizers they commission have considerable opportunities to influence the search results of Google and other search engines in their favour.
This raises the question of what results or what kind of results users get to see in the top positions of search engines. We seek answers to this question by automatically evaluating the top results for a large number of search queries on the same topic. We extract the search queries from search engine log files so that we can realistically map the query behavior of users. The analysis of the search results takes place both on the level of the domain and on the level of the providers behind them (by automatically collecting the imprint data of the websites).
In addition to software development, we analysed search queries on the subject of insurance comparisons as a first use case. Among other things, it became apparent that Google's top search results, from which the majority of the hits are selected by the users, are provided by only a few companies and that these companies can thus exert a strong influence on the perception of a topic. Other topics that we will work on include gender stereotypes in the search results, controversial topics such as nuclear power or economic topics such as financing.