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Google has become our yellow pages, our atlas, our library, our medical consultant, our shopping guide. Which means it is, basically, a giant, virtual confession booth. It knows our most intimate secrets and our most mundane desires. Which has some really amazing upsides; we get a smorgasbord of answers in milliseconds. But behind the scenes of every search, there’s a bidding war going on. Whoever wins that war has the power to shape not just how we spend our money, but also, perhaps, our political views, and maybe even our will to live. We talk to Patrick Berlinquette, a search engine marketer and certified Google partner, about how our searches are, literally, for sale, and get some perspective on the world of digital advertising from NYU’s Vasant Dhar.

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