Of AIR, Hilltop and Next Generation Search

Source Title:
Q&A with Become CTO Yeogirl Yun
Story Text:

Become.com, the new shopping search engine from Michael Yang and YeoGirl Yun of MySimon and Wisenut fame respectively has been working very hard at winning the Search communities interest with talk of unspamable algorithms and other such tall stories. Today, Yeogirl talks to Jason Dowdell about AIR: Affinity Index Ranking and why it's superior to the Hilltop algorithm.

PageRank is Dead! Long Live PageRank!

The interview is interesting, even for a non techie like me, but im not convinced that a) Become.com have anything other than hot air at the moment and b) that the hot air they are blowing is worth much even in the long run.

The principle of link based algorithm that's impervious to manipulation is just not credible.

Here's one part of the interview where Yeogirl talks of links:

Q: AIR still uses the concept of linking as a pivotal role in evaluating the relationship between sites of importance with regards to ranking them. Do you see any way, in the forseeable future, for a search engine ranking algorithm to completely avoid using linking as one of it's core components?

A: We believe that an understanding of connectivity on the web is an important factor in ranking web pages. We believe, however, that Become's methods of evaluating connectivity are significantly more sophisticated and accurate than the methods used by major search engines today.

Have a look, it's a good read, then let's have some opinion from those of a more technical bent...



Do we have access to the white paper or patent application?

I've looked and can't find it.

ha ha ha

yet another inventor :-> any of the competative terms I looked at is full of spammy sites !
it is SO clear how to overcome this algo that it is funny.
IMHO, google still brings much better results

something like this perhaps

JasonD: one - two (yes they are very similar, but not identical)

about become

(I'm not sure if I want to know more about Become.com or what will become of About.com. Maybe I should just AskJeeves. Geeesh.)

With patents like this "...wherein the page weight is defined as the probability of a user visiting the page when traveling in the collection of hypertext pages in a random fashion..." it becomes virtually impossible to function without utilizing someone else's patented work (e.g. where does the collection to be random-walked come from? - someone already has a patent on *that* collection method). So these patents really are little more than leverage agents in the industry. And barriers to entry.

So for the next 5 years what does this have to do with search marketing? Unless the new engine shoots to the top of the "average user radar" will it matter for anyone outside the SE industry? And if it does, on that algo, what staying power could it have?

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