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The Impact of Google Search Engine Algorithms (for health query searches)

In the October issue of the Edinburgh Branch Newsletter we described a research project on the above topic. The study has now gone live and is looking for participants among the Parkinson’s community. This is the Newsletter article:

“Many of us find ourselves using Google for information when we have health questions. Do you see the same results and advertisements as colleagues, family, or friends? If not, why not? Anna Couturier, a University of Edinburgh PhD student is working with EuroStemCell and the Algorithm Accountability Lab at the University of Kaiserslautern to begin building a picture of how Google personalises results for health query searches. Anna spoke to us about the study at the October Branch Get-together. The team will initially use enquiries about stem cell research.

Participation in the research involves allowing the study team to send search queries to Google through your browser as though it was you carrying out the search. They will look at what is returned for different people, measure the quality of results presented and the impact of Google’s algorithm on health related searches. There will not be any interference with your personal data. The more users who participate, the better the results will be. To find out more go to www.eurostemcell.org/datadonation.”

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