As link data become more available from search engines, the data can play an important role in understanding socio-political activities in cyberspace. However, the majority of social scientists have not engaged in link data collection, transformation, and analysis to perform research using publicly available search engines. This article offers two case studies of Internet-based political and electoral communications conducted in Korea, where online communication is among the most well-established in the world. These cases reveal that link data collected from search engines have several merits for political communication research, including inexpensive access to web resources and ease of use. However, link data have some weakness, such as reliability issues: internal algorithms are not made in public and there are inconsistencies among search engines. This article examines the two case studies to draw conclusions about the use of link data drawn from search engines for research purposes.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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