Microsoft BrowseRank to compete with Google PageRank


CNET profiles a new paper showcasing a Microsoft effort to enhance search by looking at *user behavior* as well as the old standby standards that all the major search engines use such as links in to the page, the content of the page, titles of the page, and several others.

Google’s initial brilliance was recognizing that the link relationships on the web gave you great insight into the best websites. Google correctly noted that sites with many links to them, especially for a particular keyword, were more likely to match a users interest for that keyword. Although many factors have been included in Google ranking for years, pagerank was arguably the most important breakthrough. Initially the system tried to be an online analogy to academic citation. Google’s Larry Page reasoned that websites with more incoming links would tend to be better, and that those incoming links themselves should also be weighted according to the importance of the site from which they came.

The system started to show severe signs of wear as search marketeers as well as mom and pop businesses began to “game” the pagerank system, creating spurious incoming links from bogus sites and buying links from high rank websites.

Enter Microsoft “BrowseRank”, which will arguably be harder to game because it will monitor the behavior of millions of users, looking for relationships between sites, pages, length of time on page, and more. It’s a good idea of course but arguably it is Google that has *by far* the best data set to manage this type of approach. So even if Microsoft’s system starts to deliver results superior to Google’s one can expect Google to kick their own efforts into gear.

As with all search innovation the users shoud be the big winners. Search remains good but not great, and competition in this space will only serve to make everybody better….right?

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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3 Responses to Microsoft BrowseRank to compete with Google PageRank

  1. Chris says:

    We at Me.dium (http://me.dium.com/search) are processing our user’s clickstream data in real-time to create a different lens based on what’s going on now. e.g. do a search for John Edwards on Google or Live, and you get johnedwards.com and wiki/johnedwards. Do the same search on Me.dium and you learn that today people care about his love child, pictures of his mistress, etc.

    The difference is real-time (what people are browsing now) vs. historical (what they browsed in the past). Social vs. Old School. Check it out and let us know your thoughts. http://me.dium.com/search.

  2. Alex says:

    Nice post! but you fogot to add free website monitoring – http://monitor.mazecore.com

  3. FoolsGold says:

    So since the unwashed teeming millions seem to care about some sort of tabloid-oriented utter hogwash, Microsoft has chosen to present such utter hogwash with some sort of enhanced priority or emphasis?

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