Our social scientist colleagues in France, Portugal and Spain have published the following paper: "Shaping information and knowledge on climate change technologies: A cross-country qualitative analysis of carbon capture and storage results on Google search"
Commercial search engines play a central role in shaping, defining, and promoting the information people have access to in contemporary societies. This is particularly true when it comes to emergent technologies, for which there is often limited available information in legacy media and other sources, thus having a strong bearing on public perceptions.
In this article, we focus on how the Google search engine promotes information on carbon capture and storage (CCS). We explore how Google's ranking parameters and interface shape the information people access when searching for CCS through a qualitative analysis comparing the results in three countries (France, Spain, and Portugal). We focus on the content of the first search engine result pages (SERP) and consider both Google's ranking criteria and the content and format of promoted sources. The study reveals Google's influence in highlighting Wikipedia pages, Q&A-formatted sources, and prioritizing online specialized media and private corporations. Additionally, we observe country-specific variations in terms of actors and types of content, reflecting the level of interest and investment in the topic at the national level. These findings underscore the significant role of search engine mediations in shaping public perceptions and knowledge about emergent climate change technologies.