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BizReport : Research archives : July 29, 2008

Microsoft challenges Google's PageRank algorithm

Microsoft is challenging Google’s PageRank algorithm. Microsoft researchers recently published a white paper proposing a new method for computing page importance.

by Helen Leggatt

Called BrowseRank, the new method will use user behaviour data to create a ‘user browsing graph’. Instead of number and quality of links, BrowseRank will use the number of times a user visits a site and the time spent browsing it to denote importance.

"The more visits of the page made by the users and the longer time periods spent by the users on the page, the more likely the page is important," states the report. "With this graph, we can leverage hundreds of millions of users' implicit voting on page importance."

Looking at data comparing results between PageRank and BrowseRank algorithm search results it’s apparent that social networking sites are featuring more in BrowseRank, assumedly due to the traffic and the time spent on such sites. How “useful” these sites are for searchers is debatable as is, for that matter, their importance.

Tags: algorithm, PageRank, search marketing

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