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Google Buys Search Algorithm Created by Israeli Student at Australian University

Orion algo rates the texts by quality of the page and the site

     
8:25 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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from the israeli news paper : [haaretzdaily.com...]

Search engine giant Google recently acquired an advanced text search algorithm invented by Ori Alon, an Israeli student... Orion, as it is called, which Alon developed with faculty, relates only to the most relevant textual results..."For example, if you search information on the War of Independence, you'll receive a list of related words, like Etzel, Palmach, Ben-Gurion," he explained. The text will only appear on the results page if enough words relevant to the search and the link between them is reasonable.

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[edited by: tedster at 5:56 pm (utc) on April 9, 2006]

10:03 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The importance of related words is something I see as the future -- algorithms using the entire semantic ecology of the online neighborhood where the page lives.

In fact, something like this already seems to be in the mix to a degree. I have seen pages hop up 10 or 20 places simply by broadening the reach of their language, instead of staying focused on traditional "high keyword density" approaches.

This is good news for content writers who can now naturally expand their vocabulary for the audience, and reduce their need to do "algorithm yoga". That stuff is worse than Pilates.

10:41 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In fact, something like this already seems to be in the mix to a degree.

Sure it is.
I have seen not only related search terms, but thesaurus words playing a good role as well.

10:51 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a nice investment for Google (and the student as he/she were probably paid quite well).
11:12 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good, relevancy is an issue with google still. Its not always about the size of the index, its about the relevancy...
11:37 pm on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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surprised he didn't start his own search engine. Unless he thought that Google would do the same without him. Haven't we seen a form of thsi before on Google though? They did buy this: [appliedsemantics.com...]
12:20 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is great news ... and this

Orion also rates the texts by quality of the site in which they appear.

is even better news! Go Google and congratulations to the young student!

12:53 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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... which brings us back to how to determine quality. That is still as wide open to different interpretation as it always has been in the past, and will continue to be in the future.
1:05 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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shall we guess how much Google paid?

$20 million?

1:25 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just for the record although Ori is Jewish/Israeli he's based in Australia's NSW University :
The algorithm, or search engine tool, is called Orion and was developed by UNSW PhD student Ori Allon at the university's School of Computer Science.

[smh.com.au...]

2:20 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Anybody know of any papers he has published that would lend some insight into this? I need some fresh reading material.
2:50 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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something like this already seems to be in the mix to a degree.

I sure hope they soon use it in AdSense targeting.

4:26 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Attaboy Google, buy them out young before they challenge. Tearing a page out of Micro$oft.
5:46 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The idea of finding information without having to click through to websites came from Allon's supervisor, Eric Martin, back in March this year. "I provided the spark. But it is Ori who has developed this through his amazing creativity and sheer hard work over these past months," said Mr Martin.

[physorg.com...]

GREAT!.... more big G content abuse coming to a screen near you very soon.

The Orion search engine (assuming that the name is a combination of the creator's name, and not based on the mythical Greek hunter, although strangely appropriate) is similar to conventional search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo in that it searches for keywords on web pages.

However, instead of just returning just a snippet (the small description of the page as used in current search engine results), it returns a section of the relevant page and also lists other topics related to that particular keyword. The user can now select the most relevant results in context of what they are searching for.

[ineedhits.com...]

5:55 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think $20 million would be very conservative for something like this. It seems that the developers played it smart, and got all of the big boys involved in the bidding process. I mean Yahoo and MSN would give anything to get a leg up on Google. So how much would they pay? I would bet it's in the $100 million range. We know those guys don't lack for cash.
7:22 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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you can't fault Google for buying the kid's algorithm, that's just good business. Nothing underhanded or shady about that.
7:42 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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wow, another bright guy comes out.
i am wondering why google can't creat this "algorithm" themselves?
8:10 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i am wondering why google can't creat this "algorithm" themselves?

I have no doubt Google already have the know-how, it is already probably built into their existing ranking algo.

They had to keep the technology out of reach from other competitors though. So they bought the kid to keep the technology under control.

10:43 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have no doubt Google already have the know-how, it is already probably built into their existing ranking algo.

They had to keep the technology out of reach from other competitors though. So they bought the kid to keep the technology under control.

This is apparently not the case, otherwise Google would have patent protection to keep it out of the hands of competitors.

To bad the kid sold out...humanity would have been served better if he had organized enough investors to slay the three goliaths that dominate the search world today. Orion would be a catchy name for a new SE.

As an aside...this seems like a very advanced LSI algo.

10:55 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I know the guy, he got $5 and a free Disney Park ticket.
11:08 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And it was Euro Disney ticket at that too...
11:13 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Orion would be a catchy name for a new SE.

And in five year's time, we would all be reminiscing about the "Good Old Days" when Google was at its peak, and MSN and Yahoo served better quality results.

The grass is always greener ...

1:14 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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you never know, this algo will change the way they work, it's like 'e-gold' lol and Google now have a head start in the race.
2:57 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is not a stand alone search engine that they bought.

from the link Whitey provided:

Orion works as an add-on to existing search engines to improve the relevance of searches
2:58 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> Algos are the linchpin of the SEs business, so if you were in Google's shoes, with BILLIONS in the bank, and would NOT pay $100 million to improve to the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS, then I'm afraid to say that you would be the idiot, Trax.

I agree that even ideas can be worth billions, however, why didn't MSFT jump in and offer twice as much, regardless of the price? I mean MSN has the data, $ billions more than Google, and the algo is the missing piece of the puzzle.

3:08 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree that even ideas can be worth billions, however, why didn't MSFT jump in and offer twice as much, regardless of the price? I mean MSN has the data, $ billions more than Google, and the algo is the missing piece of the puzzle.

Who knows, maybe MSN did but the kid wanted to go with Google.

The do no evil thingy....LOL

3:23 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Or maybe MSN offered 50m, and then Google offered 100, and said "either we sign the contract right now" or we walk away from this deal forever." This is hard ball these guys are playing.
3:26 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In simple business term, "Buy it before your competitors does.". Put in another way is "Buy out your competitors" or "Get the right to patent this new algo before someone got a hand to it."
3:39 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nobody offered nothing. If anything would be even remotely close to millions, it would've been all over the net. The guy was probably too happy "big Google" was interested. Anyway, this is a patent aquisition, not "brand new SE to slayer big 3". It is not even an engine, it's an algo. Anybody knows what patents are worth these days? I'd bet he's gotten 5 figures tops.
4:03 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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the kid sold it in exchange for google letting him redesign their logo for a day
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