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Web search engine advertising practices and their effect on library service

David Moxley (Associate Director of the Executive HSM Program, University of Missouri – Columbia, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Joni Blake (Director of Library and Information Services and Institutional Research, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Susan Maze (Web Administrator at William Woods University, Fulton, Missouri, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



Librarians have traditionally helped users meet their information needs by providing access to vetted sources. This changed when Internet access to the Web was introduced into the library service equation. While users now have access to more information than ever before, they must rely on search engines to retrieve and rank the results of their searches before research can begin. A problem with ranked retrieval is that many search engines participate in the practice of pay‐for‐placement advertising, which can affect the order of ranking, and may not be apparent as advertising. This practice introduces a new variation in the relationship between user and advertiser that has not existed in libraries before.



Moxley, D., Blake, J. and Maze, S. (2004), "Web search engine advertising practices and their effect on library service", The Bottom Line, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 61-65.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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