Space Ramblings

Google’s PageRank vs Microsoft’s BrowseRank

With the emergence of a Microsoft paper touting something called BrowseRank, the debate will no doubt begin over privacy, but as the Google vs Viacom spat has already demonstrated, your data and personal information is stored just as much by Google anyway.

It’s not exactly a secret that Google’s PageRank sucks. Talking about how useless Google PageRank is like mentioning that we’re seeing a lot of rain this summer. Everyone agrees but no one can really do anything about it. The precedence of PageRank exists only because of the precedence of Google Search. Google PageRank itself is mainly worthless and the phrase Googlebombing arose from how easily Google Page Rank was exploited. Using link as votes is about the worst system imaginable and yet it’s the one Google uses, which insures that finding anything on a topic that spammers have chosen to take over is a thankless and pointless task.

Entire industries have been based around manipulating and skewing keyword page rank. Microsoft’s BrowseRank though threatens to trash the entire system. While it should be possible to still fake page views, it will no longer be nearly as simple and would require something along the lines of a botnet or at least a server farm. Of course I wouldn’t celebrate yet. Google is still the 800 pound gorilla and it has no plans to go anywhere, but maybe BrowseRank might rattle the arrogant elitists at Google enough to make them rethink the same old useless PageRank system. Stranger things have happened.

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