Tag: pagerank

Microsoft’s BrowseRank alternative to Google’s PageRank

Posted by – July 25, 2008

Cnet broke a story about Microsoft’s BrowseRank (pdf link) about a authority ranking algorithm proposal coming out of Microsoft’s Chinese R&D labs that proposes “Letting Web Users Vote for Page Importance”. There isn’t much new to this, other than the new term “BrowseRank” as Microsoft has long viewed clickstream data as a potential way to outdo Google’s search algorithm, which like all other major search engines revolves around a page ranking system Google introduced that uses links on the web to determine authority.

Using user traffic has potential if you can aggregate enough scale, but a lot of the data is behind walled gardens. You can easily look at public web pages to count links but access to clickstream data is not as simple. Your options are to buy ISP data, to sample traffic and extrapolate, or just collect as much as you can on your own properties (only a few companies with scale to have useful data).

So ultimately this kind of algorithm is unlikely to be a groundbreaking difference and seems destined to be a supplemental part of the general ranking algorithms. We’ll see more of it and it shows promise in smoothing out link anomalies like link farms but isn’t likely going to be the core of a major search engine any time soon.

Matt Cutts announces new Google Toolbar Pagerank coming

Posted by – July 24, 2008

Matt Cutts, a Google engineer who leads their webspam team announced that Google is updating their tool bar Page rank soon.

What is “toolbar Pagerank”?

In the good ole days of SEO Google’s index was periodically updated, and the SEOs all rushed to check out their Pagerank and positions. Back then the correlation between the two was much bigger, and the Pagerank in the toolbar was what a lot of SEO professionals fixated on.

Over time, Google got better at discerning the context of pages and rankings depended a lot less on the url’s general Pagerank and Google also started delaying their tool bar Pagerank while beginning to constantly calculate the ranks. One of the reasons Google does this is to make it harder for SEOs to manipulate their rankings, as the feedback is delayed and it’s harder to tell what worked or didn’t work.

So now Google periodically (every 3-4 months) takes a snapshot of their Pagerank data and pushes it out to the public through the toolbar (and the various other sites that query their toolbar servers). For more information read Matt’s explanation here.