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In the past year, Google has received wide press recognition and praise for the quality relevant results that they serve to web surfers.
One of the major reasons for this is success is due to their PageRank Technology [citeseer.nj.nec.com] developed by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page. PageRank is a technology that scores web pages by how "important" they are in relation to other web pages.
Another major reason is that Google does not over-populate, or flood, their search results pages with two or three third-party databases like various other popular search engines. With the exception of data collected from the Open Directory Project [dmoz.org], Google can claim that their results, both advertised and crawled, are their own.
Google is now in the position to take their search engine to another level that can make them soar even higher than their competitors. A lot of speculation has arisen in regards to what lies ahead in Google's future. A few of the speculations are how and when Google will display personalized results.
The basis of this paper is to examine a few of the methods that Google might employ in their system of providing personalized results. The reason why these methods are examined in great detail is because last year Google acquired a company, Outride,Inc., who researched heavily into personalizing data. Throughout this paper, I will examine some of the research, people, and technology behind Outride's past projects and software systems. We shall never know how Google will implement it with their search system, but at least we can look into the various possible uses that this technology can offer.
Google and Outride
In December 2000, a press release was passed out that notified the mission of a barely known company, Outride, Inc., whose main goal was to provide the internet community with a system that would provide highly-relevant personalized results.
September 20, 2001
Google Acquires Technology Assets of Outride Inc [google.com]
Outride, Inc's Founders
Dr. James E. Pitkow - President and co-founder of Outride, Inc.
Dr. Pitkow, previously, was a research scientist at Xerox (PARC).
Dr. Hinrich Schuetze - VP of Advanced Development and co-founder of Outride
Dr. Schuetze was also a former research scientist at Xerox (PARC). His specialties are in language processing and information retrieval.
Dr. Todd Cass - VP of Engineering and co-founder of Outride, Inc.
Like his two other colleagues, Dr. Cass was a research scientist at Xerox (PARC). Dr. Cass specializes in computer vision and pattern recognition.
Since all three of Outride's founders came out of Xerox (PARC), the source of their relevance technology must lie somewhere within PARC's research center as well as in various patents. Here is where we shall begin our journey into Outride's technology.
Looking at Outride's foundation goals, the best candidate to dig up information on is Dr. Jim Pitkow. Dr. Pitkow is a recent alumni of the User Interface Research Group at Xerox (PARC).
The three main projects of this group are:
- Information Foraging
- Information Visualization
(edited by: msgraph at 5:25 pm (utc) on Feb. 13, 2002)
An added benefit is that it allows search services to collect valuable relevance information about the results shown to the user. In the context of each query SearchPad can log the actions taken by the user, and in particular record the links that were considered relevant by the user in the context of the query
Toolbar on steroids?
Another option is to give a user the ability to sort the results based on the various results that are stated above: recency, frequency, popularity, link structure, and context.
This would be such a great advanced feature.. Google has a tremendous database, but thier algo is really geared to favor larger corporate type sites. This would allow you so much more control when deciding what variables are important for your particular search.
let's say a user is given results with a higher popularity first, yet this user tends to click on links that point to fresher pages. The results can be customized so that the user gets a list of fresher yet still popular results
This is very similar to the above but automatic. I think this could provide valuable help for neophytes lost on the WWW, but you would definitely need to provide a way to disable the feature.
"personalisation be made availible to the general searching public?"
Other search engines are already talking about implementing them. I would expect that google would have to provide them to the general public if they want to stay King of the SE's.