Friday, March 23, 2007

Talent Show Redux

Last year, in a post titled The Talent Show, I discussed problems I saw with PageRank and why I felt it wouldn't be the final solution in Search:

"One obvious corrective to me is a search engine equivalent of a talent show; i.e., algorithms that give search result unknowns a chance to compete for the big time. Such a strategy would involve mixing the usual results up a bit with low ranking candidates that appear to have potential. If one of these candidates is selected by users and it seems to satisfy them (i.e., they don't come back for more), the rank of the candidate could be increased."

Yesterday, I noticed Don't look now, but Google's algorithms are changing at Computerworld.

"Looking ahead, Google is going beyond site links to determine popularity, and is beginning to study the user behavior of visitors to reward or devalue sites. They gather this information in several ways. Web users who install the Google Toolbar agree that some information can be captured and forwarded to Google. If a user does a search and clicks on the third entry in the search results, Google records that the user preferred the third link rather than the first or second. It's also recording how much time a user spent on a particular site. Google can also record the computer's cache where temporary data is stored."



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