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Glossary keyword - PageRank


PageRank, or commonly referred to as PR, was the first algorithm developed by Google’s founders at Stanford University for ranking web pages. As such, they named it after Larry Page. The founders developed the algorithm in 1996 during a research project for a new type of search engine. There, the idea that it was possible to rank all the information on the World Wide Web in a hierarchy based on ‘link popularity’ took form. Making the algorithm the initial prototype of Google’s search engine. This rank search engine results according to the relative position of every web page. Pages receive relative scores of authority and importance based on an evaluation of the quality and quantity of links.

Brief History

In essence, PageRank works by assumptions based on the fact that more important websites receive links from other sites that wish to connect to their relevant content. Presently, Google uses other algorithms in addition to PageRank to determine search results. However, it remains the most popular search ranking algorithm since the company first used it. Effective 24 September 2019, all patents relating to PageRank expired. Nevertheless, the link analysis algorithm is still relevant in the digital world. The algorithm assigns a numeric weight to every element belonging to a hyperlinked document.

Weakness of PageRank

PR (E) denotes this numeric weight and is known as PageRank of E. Practically speaking, the concept of  PageRank developed by Page and Brin may be vulnerable to manipulation. Hence, research to identify falsely manipulated PageRank rankings took place several times in the past. With the aim to find a way to surpass links from webpages and documents with manipulated PageRank. There are other ranking algorithms that evaluate relevant links to rank websites today. An example is Jon Kleinberg’s HITS algorithm, which and Teoma use currently.

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