Thursday, 23 August 2007

Who ranks who with Personalized Pagerank?

San Jose is pretty far from Bratislava so there is no way for me to make it to search engine strategies this year. Instead, I have been reading the amazingly useful live coverage at the Search Engine Roundtable.

In the coverage of Personalised Search this assertion attributed to Dave Davies of Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning genuinely surprised me:
Google will be assigning a value to you as a search user. This value will be used to grade your activities on web sites. This will affect the rankings of sites based on an individuals activities on that site. Users who are trusted by Google will affect the results to a greater degree than those who are not trusted.

I had thought of personal pagerank as individualised pagerank assigned to a website just for you (and people like you). E.g. Google knows I get annoyed with Web 2.0 social sites and love all things Russian. Therefore if I searched for dating sites something like Consumating would have a low personal pagerank for me. would on the other hand appear pretty high up.

The Davies interpretation would mean something quite different: his peronalised pagerank would rank my personal worth as a searcher whose search behaviour is, I guess, generic enough to be useful to influence the general pagerank for other. Goofy people, who surf all over the web, would be discounted, while systematic, savvy searchers would carry more influence.

I think if you juxtapose the two ideas, it is clear which one makes more sense: since everyone's results will behighly personalised there is not so much point in finding trusted users to watch their behaviour. Rather, in a fashion similar to how Amazon works in recommending CDs you may like, search engines can group users according to a variety of characteristics: "If you liked Consumating and Digg, you will love Sphinn."

Goofy users won't have low personal pagerank. Rather, if Google knows you are goofy, it will modify your personalised pagerank algorithm to rank highly sites other goofy people like.


James said...

Users who are trusted by Google will affect the results to a greater degree than those who are not trusted. That's for sure. Thanks

ผ้าม่าน said...

The thai language google site also has personalized sites for my like, it is amazing how many languages google can influence, it is so powerful, no other search engine can catch up, i love the personalized results because it is like the engine can read my mind :)