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Ask - Teoma Forum

Teoma's opinion of PageRank
It's like a babbling game show audience

 8:38 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Came across this among the new stuff at Teoma:

It contains what seems to be a veiled reference to PageRank in Teoma's explanation of their own "Subject-Specific Popularity" -- the Teoma approach, as they see it, is like asking an expert for an answer on a given subject, while "other leading search technologies" are like polling a large general audience with no specific expertise.


jeremy goodrich

 8:43 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

It does make a lot of sense to push algorithms in that direction, for more conceptually ranked versions of 'authority'...as it stands now, PageRank could be seen as being too general.

Teoma has been one on the 'to watch' list for a while...it will be intersting to see how their algorithm scales.


 8:53 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

PR works fine. It isn't the end all and be all. There are good uses for it even if it is not in the same category.

Sure - people take advantage of this ability of PR, but everything has its weaknesses.

The only reason Teoma's algo hasn't been exploited - is they don't have the traffic right now. If they did - their algo would be just as easy to exploit (if not easier) than the PR part of google's.

They will get knocked off their high horse in time - or go out of business - which ever comes first.


 9:46 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

They will get knocked off their high horse in time

I don't know if I'd look at that claim as being "high horse." It's just marketing, and not much different from what Google says on their site about PageRank -- Google's intent is to say that PR makes their results better than anyone else's; being number one they're not commenting on any particular competitor. Teoma's shot is more specifically at the one big competitor. In either case, saying "our approach is the best" doesn't mean it's true.

Anyway, I thought the game show analogy was entertaining.


 11:20 am on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

All I know is once you figure out the game at Teoma, you can search many times faster than you can at google.

At Google, the game is figuring out the right keyword combination to get the se to fess up the page you are really looking for.

At Teoma, the game is search once and click 2-3 times. It's a rare breath of fresh air and I strongly believe Teoma has a Google competitor on their hands if they can increase the db site to 1b+ (which is a non-trivial increase) and resist the seductive forces of paid inclusion.

I'm rather surprised Google hasn't seen what the Teoma search system represents and responded with their own.
Searching with Teoma is multiplicably easier than searching with Google.

I searched for a specific set of links on Google for almost a half hour. It was a difficult keyword set. It was general, but I needed specific info (like searching for windows).

I went to Teoma, put in "windows", clicked down the refine options 3 times, and the page I wanted was there. Under a minute searching compared to a half hour of failure at Google. That's what Teoma represents. The interface is a better, faster way to search.


 12:12 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Agreed Brett.. but maybe for us. Once youve learned it great, but compared to the seductive simplicity of Google, its not going to be the mainstream draw.

Most people who search dont even know about using quotes, and I would hazard a guess that very very few use whatever advanced search is available.

People are lazy. They would probably prefer to keep on entering terms and browsing serps than "learning" something just a level above simple. They will have to remember the steps for next time, and if its less than once a day, thats difficult for the instant gratification Web.


 1:07 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I haven't figured out Teoma. I do okay in Google but, although I have several sites in Teoma, they may as well not be there as they seem never to come up on a search of anything having to do with anything on my sites.

For example, for a site that shows up #2 on its most searched-for keyphrase in Google, the reference to it in Teoma is a deeplink that shows up on the 12th page.

I do okay on Ask Jeeves, btw.

Looking for information other than the subject of one of my own sites, for comparison, I think that I get much better results from Google than Teoma.


 3:36 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Teoma continues to improve and show much promise.

An interesting article about the hubs and authority concept that highlights some of what Teoma is doing can be discovered by Kleinberg and Lawrence.

"The Structure of the Web" [cs.cornell.edu]

In many respects, Teoma is the implementation of the often discussed but never made publicly available, Clever project from IBM.
"Hypersearching the Web" [cs.cornell.edu]

Specifically, Teoma was originall called DISCOWeb and developed at Rutgers Univesity by Apostolos Gerasoulis.

"DiscoWeb: Applying Link Analysis to Web Search" [cs.rutgers.edu]


 3:39 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Teoma denies that it has anything to do with hubs and authorities.



 4:23 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have to say I love Teoma, but then again I seem to have their algo nailed :)


 11:34 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know.. not only isn't my site listed when I do a search for widgets, but widgethardware.com with it right in the name (and lots of content) doesn't show up. It also gives a very limited selection on what is normally a hot topic. Matter of fact, it gives very little relavant widget information at all.


 6:15 am on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Teoma search quality is now just as good, if not better than Google's, IMHO.

I believe Google became popular through word of mouth, the mouth's starting the increase in popularity belonged to webmasters and ended with the cast of the West Wing. How many of us have been singing Google's praises for the last 3 to 4 years?

I would love to see Teoma increase in popularity with the general population. But someone has to get the ball rolling as Teoma don't seem to be marketing themselves to the wider audience very well.

Google now has serious competition with Teoma, Fast/AllTheWeb, and Ink are making a comeback. I'll raise my hand as one who was guilty of promoting the "Google Monster", now I want to level the playing field again and get a few of the other guys back in the picture.

troels nybo nielsen

 6:54 am on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Did some searches on subjects where I can claim some kind of authority. The results were sub-standard and in one case disastrous. I wonder if their database is too small and they haven't cared to deal decently with characters not used in English. These problems have to be solved if they shall be of _any_ interest for me as a surfer and a webmaster.


 8:14 am on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I spent half an hour looking for something on google yesterday and Teoma just gave it to me in less then 5 seconds through their "suggestions to narrow search".



 9:09 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


Except that in my personal (limited) experience google seems to be fastest to register changes. I changed host in Nov last year. Currently only google is showing my new page, all the others (alltheweb,teoma,wisenut) are still pointing to my old page.


 11:29 am on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brett's post on how to really use Teoma was a terrific eye-opener to me. Using the method that Brett described for refined searching produced amazingly good results for me (and quickly). Thanks for the tip!


 3:30 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

quick reply, Chiyo wrote:

Most people who search dont even know about using quotes, and I would hazard a guess that very very few use whatever advanced search is available.

Watching users is an eye opener.

The other day, I saw someone sit down to a computer to search for something, and he typed the search terms in the Address window and pressed 'enter'. He just thought that's the way searches are done. He didn't know about search engines. The word "engine" made him think it was something complicated.

(Of course depending on your software etc. this method could bring you to the auto search of msn, but the computer was an old Mac 630 with Netscape 4.0...)


 12:40 am on Jan 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with percentages point on the relevance of Teoma results and the increase in competition from FAST and Ink.

In the current search engine climate with billions of pages to index and rank it needs a new way of looking at how to score relevance. Google introduced the concept of PageRank, and we all shouted about it - as it was so far removed from how the search engines of their time thought about the web (in particular AV).

We now need new technology and new thought into what makes a page relevant - as well as how do users find the page they require, and more crucially, the phrase that will return this page. Teoma has provided their view of the solution, and they will need time to increase their database and remove spam - Google did too.

Then we will shout about Teoma.

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