Google's assertions that its algorithms are as objective as possible have been challenged by one analyst, who believes he has found evidence of bias hard-coded into the search engine's system.

Econsultancy reports Harvard Business School assistant professor Benjamin Edelman as claiming the company's search engine result pages (SERPs) favour those sites belonging to its affiliates and partners.

While he noted the organisation has admitted in the past to promoting its own properties such as Google Health in its SERPs, Mr Edelman alleged the firm's internet marketing services are also set up to direct traffic to selected associates without clearly informing the user.

The specialist described the firm as making "inaccurate representations to the public including to users, publishers, advertisers, investors and regulators" regarding their sorting of results.

Commenting on the research for Econsultancy, Patricio Robles said there would be "obvious reason for concern on paper" if the findings were proven, but observed many of the fears may be overstated "in the real world".

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