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Google's Pageranking Explained 127

bluegreenone writes "Google has a new page up about some of their proprietary search technology. Looks like Teoma's bid to outdo Google may be harder than they initially thought." It's an interesting technique, and definitely a lot harder for competitors to duplicate than I would have originally thought.
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Google's Pageranking Explained

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  • by WilliamsDA ( 567274 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:30AM (#3265579) Homepage
    hunt and peck
  • by flynt ( 248848 )
    april fool! it so funny! pigeons typing...too funny fo me! (btw, is it a slashdot april fools to disable anonymous posting, or is that how its gonna be?)
    • april fool! it so funny! pigeons typing...too funny fo me! (btw, is it a slashdot april fools to disable anonymous posting, or is that how its gonna be?)

      This is one of those days where anonymous posting would do much more harm than good. In fact, I'm not surprised at all. Although it's probably just for "April Fools" stories, not regular news bytes.
  • *looks to the artical about Indian pigeons* They already hired them it looks like...
  • Pigeons (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stone Rhino ( 532581 ) <mparke@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:32AM (#3265589) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they also use the pigeons to carry data on their internal network?
  • Odd... (Score:1, Troll)

    by xZAQx ( 472674 )
    And I thought Microsoft was the only company that consisted solely of pigeon-brained species =/
  • Are those pigeons the one fired from Indias Avian Carriers? :))
    • No!

      Where does Google get its pigeons? Some special breeding lab?

      Google uses only low-cost, off-the-street pigeons for its clusters. Gathered from city parks and plazas by Google's pack of more than 50 Phds (Pigeon-harvesting dogs), the pigeons are given a quick orientation on web site relevance and assigned to an appropriate data coop.
      • DAMN IT!!

        Man, now I know why slashdot has been so strange last few days! Those little motherfuckers started a riot and took control of the whole internet!

        damn, and we though they were stupid little birds... in fact it was just a disguise, these guys are far more inteligent than we though, they already took control of most modern buildings in the world, now they are controling what we read and search on the net...

        God help us all! :))
      • "Google uses only low-cost, off-the-street pigeons for its clusters. Gathered from city parks and plazas by Google's pack of more than 50 Phds (Pigeon-harvesting dogs), the pigeons are given a quick orientation on web site relevance and assigned to an appropriate data coop."

        Why don't they use the same folks that get the pigeon for the Hegins Pigeon Shoot each year?
  • by citroidSD ( 517889 ) <citroidsd@yahPLA ... minus physicist> on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:33AM (#3265596)
    Actually, I just came back from Teoma, talked to an engineer there, and he told me that using Pigeon Clusters is so outdated. He showed me Teoma's technology. It was a room full of monkeys sitting in front of PC's (running Linux of course). Sure it was a smelly room, but those primates were busy pounding away on the keyboard...

    Primate Clusters are the way to go baby.
    • The problem with using primates is that they are so busy writing the complete works of Shakespeare, they rarely have time to work on the web search rankings...
    • Gues the use some of those mokeys to produse some of the content here on ./ aswell.

      Sig: Min ape kan ikke stave.:o)
    • Only a room of monkeys? How lame. Google's researching search technology based on infinite monkeys.
    • by An Onerous Coward ( 222037 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @12:14PM (#3265761) Homepage
      The point of using pigeons instead of monkeys is that pigeons are commodity birdware that can be found in any public park or on any statue. Using monkeys means all sorts of hassles. Simians not being native to the US, reliance on monkeys puts us at the mercy of tin pot dictators from monkeyed countries.

      Further, pigeons have consistently been shown to outperform humans in search engine environments, and though no direct pigeon/monkey benchmarks have been performed, monkeys suffer from many of the same limitations which bottleneck human performance. They're more expensive to maintain, they crash frequently during mating season, and pigeons are completely immune to the feces-hurling problems found in all monkey clusters (and a few human ones).

      Finally, TCO for a twelve-bird cluster is actually *less* than that for a single monkey. Teoma isn't going to be able to scale their system without a massive influx of cash and bananas.

      Man, doesn't *anybody* read the articles?
  • Not suprisingly, Slashdot on April 1 is as useless as condoms for 16 year old C++ programmers.

    Anything useful to read about today?
  • by Emugamer ( 143719 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:34AM (#3265601) Homepage Journal
    Wow they have you all going. This is an April Fool's day joke if I ever saw it. I've been to Google's secret underground lair and as anyone who has survived their Mission Impossible style defenses can tell you.... its Squirrels, this is just a lame attempt to throw off their competitors.

    hmmm what happened to the post as Anonymous Coward box? oh well, Google Doesn't know where I live, do they? ......
  • Man, the birds are so smart. No wonder they can dive bomb so accurately, reguarless of bad disguises.
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:35AM (#3265608) Homepage Journal
    Yes, you read it here first, those retired carrier pigeons from India are being shipped to Google as we speak. Of course Google will have to take steps to ensure that no pigeons escape back to India carrying precious webpage rankings -- imagine the disaster if every web page in the world suddenly pointed at India!! Why, there'd barely be enough to go round!

  • Just imagine the amount of pigeon poodoo they must be having to deal with! Wonder what they're doing with all of it?

    • From the "article" ;-)

      Removal of other pigeon byproducts was a greater challenge, until Page and Brin developed groundbreaking technology for converting poop to pixels, the tiny dots that make up a monitor's display. The clean white background of Google's home page is powered by this renewable process.
  • And this is why.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baptiste ( 256004 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:36AM (#3265612) Homepage Journal
    I like Google so much. Yes, their search engine rocks - nobody can compare.

    But in the end they still haven't forgotten their roots and can still have fun - it reminds me when other Internet companies didn't take themsleves so serious all the time.

    Don't look out your window! There's Temoa engineers scraping up pigeon droppings off the street to do a little reverse engineering!

    • Reminds me of a line that a boss of mine used to say, which went like: "Professionals are supposed to wear frowns." As if being human and having a lightheart is unproductive somewhow. We need more people on the cluetrain. []

      This is somewhat offtopic, but you ever notice how some people's brows are permanently furrowed--especially news anchors? They've etched the "looking busy" or "I'm a serious mofo" expression onto their face and probably consider it an asset... but all I can think is, "lighten up man!"


  • impressive (Score:3, Funny)

    by bareminimum ( 456719 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:36AM (#3265613)
    But the term Pigeon Prank (tm) patented process would be more appropriate.
  • by bihoy ( 100694 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:37AM (#3265618)
    Yeah, I've heard it thru the grapevine that the RIAA plans to target Google next. Teoma is hoping to do an endrun around them with a wholly different set of technology. It only stand to reason that Google is trying to put a good front on the whole issue in hope that they can instantiaite a new buisnes model that involves a micropayment system arrangment with paypal.

    Personally I think this is getting way outta control.
  • find out about this!
  • Google has applied for several patents, including a patent for the entire pigeon genome...
  • A pigeon gets it's wings

  • If there were ever a better time for the Peregrine Falcon Recovery Plan [] to take off and kill these stupid pigeon-based April Fool's Day jokes....
  • I really wanted to see a pic of Google's world famous chef preparing the pigeons' meals!
    • How about Colonel Saunders? ^_^

      Whooops, you meant preparing meals for the pidgeons didn't you, not preparing the pidgeons as meals? My bad. :-P

  • First, CUI was My Search Engine of Choice. Then WebCrawler was My Search Engine of Choice. Then AltaVista came along and became My Search Engine of Choice. Now Google is My Search Engine of Choice. Why shouldn't something else come along?

    I love Google, and I do have a hard time imagining someone else doing a better job, but I'll drop them like a bad habit if something better comes along.

  • All these reports indicate one thing: while it may take millions of monkeys hammering away at keyboards to get what you want, use only a few thousand pigeons and get it faster and better.
  • Okay, it's in french, but it's those nifty strips of vertical 2" pins that you see all over any horizontal area on important buildings in europe. []
    Oh, I liked the part about the restroom with a selection of the finest european statuary...
  • Ah-hah! (Score:4, Funny)

    by PinkStainlessTail ( 469560 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:49AM (#3265670) Homepage
    parrots posing seductively in resplendent plumage

    No wonder the first 100 hits for "monitors" are from the Viewsonic site...

  • by the_Bionic_lemming ( 446569 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:51AM (#3265678)
    Are they able to carry coconuts?
    • "Are you saying coconuts migrate?"

      "A swallow could grip it by the husk!"
    • Ah yes, but pigeons are non-migratory...
    • gripping by the husk, I'm sure African Pigeons could maintain proper air velocity. it may take two, though, suspending the coconut, of course.

      speaking of coconuts and primates, perhaps this relates to Temoa's bid, the Monkeys Slamming Fingers Together, MSFT, search and assymilation protocol.

      or maybe that acronym is already used by some different monkeys?

    • Are they able to carry coconuts?

      Only two birds at a time, with a good tailwind.

      (Wakka wakka wakka! Don't you just love April Fool's Day? Or Poisson d'Avril, if you prefer. Something about the frenchies sticking fish on peoples' backs just sounds unsettling, though. But all of this is definitely much better than trying to figure out the terrorism in Israel. As Dave Barry said, in fifty million years, when all the humans have died out, there will be cockroaches in the middle east who still hate a different group of cockroaches in the middle east; they're just never going to have peace.)

  • You know, with all of the news sites carrying bogus stories in the spirit of April Fool's Day, I was wondering what the ONION [] would do about this. Turns out that they didn't change a thing.
    actual news stories up there. It would have been great to read real news about the latest bombings in the Middle East, or GW's plans to fight terrorism, right on the front page and see if anyone would believe (or not believe, as the case may be) those stories.

    Missed opportunities abound...
  • Imagine... (Score:2, Funny)

    by darkov ( 261309 )
    a beowolf cluser of these! And then imagine the smell.
  • by mocm ( 141920 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @11:55AM (#3265694)
    what's behind the carnivore program.
  • "Egads, Jeff, look at this!" "Tom, wake up all our developers. We're going pigeon catching."

  • What is a Pageran King ???
  • In related new, Teoma plans to overtake Google as the #1 search engine on the Internet, in which a Google representative simply responded, "When pigs fly!"

    Inside sources close to the situation say Teoma is currently in talks to purchase Farmer Hank's magic pig farm, complete with magic beans.
  • Any bird person would know that African Grey's are much superior to pigeons in ther web ranking abilities.
  • Ummm...Not funny? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SwellJoe ( 100612 )
    I've so far been disappointed by all of the April Fools stuff I've seen except the MaraDNS version 0.9.90 announcement this morning. Very satisfying and very subtle, that one. This other stuff? Bleh!

    Pigeons searching the web? Where's the subtlety in that? Where's the surprise? The Slashdot bit was mildly entertaining, Freshmeat was just a groaner. There has to be surprise to really get a good laugh going, and I just wasn't surprised by these things. Maybe I'm jaded from reading them for too long and knowing what to expect from them.

    Oh, well, I'll quit griping now. Maybe I'll go read the MaraDNS release announcement again. That'll put me in a better mood, I reckon.

    • April Fool's is lame idea to begin with, so it's unliekly anyone could come up with anything funny about it.
    • I liked the story on Wired about the water-logged digital camera.,1284,51205,0 0. html

      Adbumb had a special bulletin about DoubleClick merging with all of its competitors. Any other good stories out there?
  • by grnbrg ( 140964 ) <> on Monday April 01, 2002 @12:14PM (#3265756)
    It might take an infinite number of monkeys to produce the internet, but apparently it only takes a finite number of pigeons to rank it...


  • Good Lord. I forgot today was April 1. I actually started reading the article thinking it was a normal one. I'm thinking "Oh my god, they actually do this?"

    Its only 9 am and time for a beer already!
  • madness (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Monday April 01, 2002 @12:19PM (#3265816) Homepage
    First they allow patenting math (all software comes from code and all code can be expressed as math) and now they'll patent the use of live animals?! When will this cruelty end!!!
  • Would have been more funny if they had made it so only for this article.
    • Would have been more funny if they had made it so only for this article.

      actually, i think you mean this [] article (Updated Slashdot Advertising Policy)

      you posted on the wrong article (Google's Pageranking Explained), or are you making an april fools joke? :)
    • Disabling anonymous posting for a site is a Slash setting; all they needed to do was flip one toggle to do so. Disabling it for that one story would have required them to write new code just for that, which we already know is a 4/1 joke to begin with.
  • Google has always come up with some very interesting articles on April 1st. This is one is by far the most interesting.

  • rename the site to SlashDove.
  • Beak over Wing?

    this is a great new technology. My employer has currently started development on a next generation of this amaxing tech: BoW+1C. Beak over Wing + 1 claw is amazingingly fast. Our benchmarks show your page rankings can be done using half the pigeons, with maximum results. In fact, one of our early adopters (Bobs House of Kink and Bubble Gum) has trippled his page hits in 3 hours using this technology. For more information, please browse our website: You won't regret it!!!!
  • Heh, the PigeonRank page is definitely the best April Fools joke so far.

    As part of my PhD research, I've been doing some analysis of the PageRank algorithm. A few weeks ago, I did some analysis of the attack-resistance properties, and found that it is one of two known instances of an attack resistant trust metric (the other being Advogato []. To me, this is pretty exciting, as it would seem to support my belief that trust metrics have much wider use than the PKI-like applications that originally motivated my research.

    The analysis of PageRank is in Chapter 6 of my thesis-in-progress []. Also in the chapter is a discussion of how to apply the trust metric to more general metadata, as well as a distributed network model of the trust metric.

    Serious hackers will also be interested in my spiffy research implementation [] of PageRank.

    I'm very much interested in connecting with others who understand and appreciate these results. Lord knows why I'm posting to Slashdot... oh well, time to go back to feeding my pigeons.
  • Please tell me I am not the first to post this. I expect a little more from the jaded audience of /.
  • Screw ServerA out in Virginia, im going pigeon hunting!
  • Another reason to love Google:

  • apparently pigeons are all scientologists.
  • Do a search for restaurant guide on teoma and see what comes up... looks like they are suggesting that you use other's search engines to find restaurant guides... how neat! At least their search engine is set up to send you elsewhere (to their competition) when it doesnt have a clue.

    The results were:

    1. Webcrawler Web News Photos Yellow Pages White Pages Search Zoom In Escape! airfare discount travel hotels Autos...
    [More results like this]

    2. Yahoo!
    Yahoo Yahoo! Personals find the one for you Click Here ! Yahoo! Messenger 5.0 download now! advanced search Y! Shopping - Computers ? Video Games...

    3. HotBot
    HotBot Search Smarter Look for: all the words any of the words exact phrase the page title the person links to this URL boolean phrase Date:...
    [More results like this]


    5. Google
    Happy Holidays from Google Web Images Groups Directory ? Advanced Search ? Preferences ? Language Tools Advertise with Us - Add...

    6. Lycos
    Lycos Home Site Map My Lycos TOOLS Chat Clubs Downloads Email/IM Horoscopes Maps MP3s Multimedia Personals Photos Stocks Translate WAP/SMS...

    7. AltaVista - The Search Company
    AltaVista provides the most comprehensive search experience on the Web! ... AltaVista Try your search in: Images ? Video ? MP3/Audio ? News...

    AllTheWeb Search All The Web, All the Time : ... Help | Customize | Advanced Search Any language Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Basque Byelorussian...

    9. Dogpile. All results, no mess.
    Dogpile gives you more result with less effort. Find the best results on the Web with the help of more than 15 of the top search engines in the...
    [More results like this]

    10. Direct Hit. One Search Engine. Millions of Minds.
    direct hit direct hit November 26, 2001 Search for... web sites categories ...or ask a question Tragedy in the US: News and Resources...
    [More results like this] Neat, huh?

    Besides often irrelevant results, or results such as above, it's slower, and still has bugs that need to be worked out (clicking certain NEXT navigation will put you at results 1-10 of who knows what or where - like click the >> at the end of the 1 2 3 ... section - leaving no other page options other than NEXT >> after that...).

    I see it getting slower and slower if it gets adopted by any decent amount of people, and then eventually either in need of a server farm of immense proportions or lots of IIS's famous "Server too busy" errors...

    Robert - The Largest Restaurant Guide in the Nation!

  • The b@st@rds! I hereby call for a boycott of Google until they guarantee that all Free Software projects can use this royalty free!
  • I alwasy though it was some kind of AI [] thing.
  • "When a relevant result is observed by one of the pigeons in the cluster, it strikes a rubber- coated steel bar with its beak, which assigns the page a PigeonRank value of one. For each peck, the PigeonRank increases."

    Sounds just like moding on Slashdot. Hmmm....
  • I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I sent this story in hours ago and it was rejected! Bah.
  • "Lin/ax Kernels Consumed"

    "This open space lin/ax powers Google's operations to this day, and a visit to the data coop reveals pigeons happily pecking away at lin/ax kernels and seeds."
  • Teoma sends its Beowulf cluster to devour Google's Pigeon cluster. Teoma still sucks, but it reigns supreme over Google's feather-littered server room.
  • I mean, come on, people. Everybody knows (or should know) that there would be no pigeons if there were no Gnus. They're symbiotic.

    To ensure the proper respect the Gnus deserve, Google should have at least changed Lin/ax to Gnu/Lin/ax in the article.

  • PigeonRank is real [] - GoogleWhack!

    (Oh, and notice how the spellchecker suggests that you probably meant "PageRank"... ;-))
  • This puts a whole new meaning on 'pigeonholing' a document.

    But the real problem that this technology has created, is that until now, nobody realized that pigeons were really penguins in disguise... :)

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.