Microsoft Researchers Working On BrowseRank To Compete With Google PageRank

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is working on a new project called BrowseRank.  Given the success of the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) PageRank on the web today, Microsoft is aiming to advance and distinguish an algorithm of their own.

Google PageRank determines the importance of a web page by the number of other web pages that link to it.  Microsoft’s BrowseRank will focus on the number of visits made by users and the amount of time spent on websites.

“The more visits of the page made by the users and the longer time periods spent by the users on the page, the more likely the page is important. We can leverage hundreds of millions of users’ implicit voting on page importance,” stated BrowseRank researchers.

As Microsoft is trailing Google in the market for web search, the company is trying different methods to one-up Google.  Microsoft recently acquired PowerSet, a semantic web search engine company.  Microsoft also just made an agreement with Facebook to have Live Search integrated into the social network.

Microsoft addressed Google PageRank’s shortcomings in a research paper.  The shortcomings were that PageRank has a hard time penalizing spam link farmers and that it doesn’t account for the time spent on a particular website.

Even if Microsoft discovers “a better algorithm,” they will continue to struggle in an uphill battle to take away market-share from Google.  Google users have too much loyalty to switch now.  Until something faster and better comes out, it’ll continue to be that way.  It happened to Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and it’ll eventually happen to Google.  There is some high school kid out there that will build the next latest and greatest search engine in a few years.  Then Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! will be trying to find out ways to take him or her on.  It’s all cyclical.

Related Links:
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Techmeme Discussion

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Microsoft Researchers Working On BrowseRank To Compete With Google PageRank Comments

  1. gfigg says:

    Very interesting, although this has been tried before. DirectHit had a search engine built entirely on clickstream data (Acquired by in 2000). They got the data from ISPs in those days. The end-result is really not that much better than Page-Rank.

    We at Me.dium on the other hand ( are processing our user’s clickstream data in real-time to create a different lens based on what’s going on now. e.g. do a search for John Edwards on Google or Live, and you get and wiki/johnedwards. Do the same search on Me.dium and you learn that today people care about his love child, pictures of his mistress, etc.

    The difference is real-time (what people are browsing now) vs. historical (what they browsed in the past). Social vs. Old School. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

  2. Vikash Shah says:

    gfigg – Just checked our your website and I have to admit the idea sounds pretty novel. It seems there is going to be several ways to “complete” a search and each method has its ups and downs. There will probably be a paper that comes out from google that destroys browserank.

    I believe the group that is going to win is the website with the “community” (google is their one product). Google has created such a large community that its user are going to be loyal, and if there is a better website google will probably imitate or buy it.

  3. Affectionate_beauty says:

    How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!

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