News.com, reports that a Microsoft research team has recently come up with a new concept known as BrowseRank. Through this concept, Microsoft has tried to teach Google a thing or two about ranking pages. According to the new theory, BrowseRank can prove to be more effective than PageRank as it would rank pages according to the user online behavior and not by the amount of web pages linked to a specific web page as done by Google PageRank.
According to the researchers who worked on the BrowseRank theory, "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." the research team included Bin Gao, Tie-Yan Liu, and Hang Li from Microsoft Research Asia and Ying Zhang of Nankai University, Zhiming Ma of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shuyuan He of Peking University.
How BrowseRank Works:
Basically, BrowseRank takes into consideration the amount of time a user spends on a particular website. This helps BrowseRank in assessing the quality of the webpage. BrowseRank not only monitors traffic arriving via links, but also has the ability to monitor direct URL visits via bookmarks or URLs that are typed in the Address Bar. The research has termed the pages that are safe, interesting, relevant for users as "Green Traffic." This kind of ranking will help with direct URLs that are keyword enriched along with brand specific searches and URL searches, as it would be able to recognize and assimilate such websites in the "Green Traffic" category.
Inadequacies of PageRank:
According the researchers associated with the program, Google PageRank can be easily manipulated by using the unethical means of link farming. Secondly, PageRank only takes into account the amount of web links associated with a webpage and not the amount of time spent by a user at the website. However, Google refutes these claims stating that, "It's important to keep in mind that PageRank is just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine the ranking of a Web site. Search remains at the core of everything Google does, and we are always working to improve it."
The Shortcomings of BrowseRank:
As BrowseRank takes into account the time spent by a user on a particular website while compiling its data, it then becomes obvious that it highlights a lot of social networking websites. However, the issues with such websites is that, the content of these websites isn't generally valuable or relevant to audience at large. This factor, makes the BrowseRank little ineffective, as it could lead to a lot of of results that are irrelevant, spam, or both.