According to legislation adopted by the European Union, Google is not considered to be a search engine. It took the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union two years of negotiations and legislative process to come up with this decision. The decision will also declare that Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo are not search engines either. Here are the details of the story, with credit to ERDi who first reported on it.
Why is Google not a Search Engine?
According to the EU’s agreed upon definitions, a search engine searches all websites, which Google does not. Google does not search and/or index the dark web (Tor), nor does it search pages which it is directed not to by a site’s robots.txt file.
The fact that Google complies with Right to Be Forgotten requests, and removes content such as revenge porn, also disqualifies it as a search engine by the EU’s definition.
So What is a Search Engine?
There is currently no search engine in existence today which matches the definition laid out by the EU’s Directive on Network and Information Security.
“Online search engine’ is a digital service that allows users to perform searches of in principle all websites or a geographical subset thereof, websites in a particular language on the basis of a query on any subject in the form of a keyword, phrase or other input; and returns links in which information related to the requested content can be found.“
The key phrase “of in principle all websites” is technically what disqualifies all search engines as we know them today from being search engines by the EU’s definition. Perhaps one day EU will get its wish, but for now search engines are what they are, and they’re a far cry from what EU believes they should be.
Featured Image Credit: jorisvo / Shutterstock.com