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Influence of search neutrality on the economics of advertisement-financed content

Abstract : The recently raised search neutrality debate questions the ranking methods implemented by search engines: when a search is performed, do they (or should they) display the web pages ordered according to the quality-of-experience (relevance) of the content? In this paper, we analyze that question in a setting when content is offered for free, content providers making revenue through advertising. For content providers, determining the amount of advertising to add to their content is a crucial strategic decision. Modeling the trade-off between the revenue per visit and the attractiveness, we investigate the interactions among competing content providers as a non-cooperative game, and consider the equilibrium situations to compare the different ranking policies. Our results indicate that when the search engine is not involved with any high-quality content provider, then it is in its best interest to implement a neutral ranking, which also maximizes user perceived quality-of-experience and favors innovation. On the other hand, if the search engine controls some high-quality content, then favoring it in its ranking and adding more advertisement yields a larger revenue. This is not necessarily at the expense of user perceived quality, but drastically reduces the advertising revenues of the other content providers, hence reducing their chances to innovate.
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Contributor : Bibliothèque Télécom Bretagne <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 9:12:10 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 3:41:31 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01185065, version 1


Pierre Coucheney, Giuseppe d'Acquisto, Patrick Maillé, Maurizio Naldi, Bruno Tuffin. Influence of search neutrality on the economics of advertisement-financed content. [Research Report] Dépt. Réseaux, Sécurité et Multimédia (Institut Mines-Télécom-Télécom Bretagne-UEB); Institut de recherche en informatique et systèmes aléatoires (UMR CNRS 6074 - Université de Rennes 1 - INRIA - INSA de Rennes - ENS de Cachan - Télécom Bretagne - Université de Bretagne Sud); Laboratoire d'Informatique PRISM (Université de Versailles); Dipartimento di Informatica, Sistemi Produzione (Universita di Roma Tor Vergata); Garante per la protezione dei dati personali (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali). 2013, pp.20. ⟨hal-01185065⟩



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