Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Informatics Researchers Throttle Notion Of Search Engine Dominance

Date:
August 7, 2006
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Search engines are not biased toward popular Web sites, and may even be egalitarian in the way they direct traffic, say Indiana University School of Informatics researchers.

Search engines are not biased toward popular Web sites, and may even be egalitarian in the way they direct traffic, say Indiana University School of Informatics researchers.

Their study, "Topical interests and the mitigation of search engine bias," in the Aug. 7-11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, challenges the view of a Web-dominating "Googlearchy" in which search engines like Google push all Web traffic to established, mainstream Web sites.

"Empirical data do not support the idea of a vicious cycle amplifying the rich-get-richer dynamic of the Web," said Filippo Menczer, associate professor of informatics and computer science. "Our study demonstrates that popular sites receive on average far less traffic than predicted by the Googlearchy theory and that the playing field is more even."

Menczer was joined in the study by IU post-doctoral fellow Santo Fortunato; Alessandro Flammini, assistant professor of informatics; and Alessandro Vespignani, professor of informatics.

The IU team pooled their expertise in Web mining, networks and complex systems to collect empirical data from various search engines. In one scenario, users browsed the Web using only random links. In another, users visited only pages returned by the search engines. The researchers also studied the way in which search engines have influenced the Web's evolution.

"A simple ranking mechanism provides an elegant model to understand the genesis of a broad class of complex systems, including social and technological networks such as the Internet and the World Wide Web," Fortunato said. "These networks possess a peculiar 'long-tail'TM structure in which a few nodes attract a great majority of connections."

The long tail structure of the Web is commonly explained through rich-get-richer models that require knowledge of the prestige of each node in the network. However, those who create and link Web pages may not know the prestige values of target pages.

In another study, "Scale-Free Network Growth by Ranking," (May 27 Physical Review Letters), the Menczer, Fortunato, and Flammini showed that for a search engine to give rise to a long tail network, it must simply sort nodes according to any prestige measure, even if the exact values are unknown. If new nodes are linked to old ones according to their ranking order, a long tail emerges.

"By sorting results, search engines give us a simple mechanism to interpret how the Web grows and how traffic is distributed among Web sites," said Menczer.

The ranking model can help understand the dynamics of other complex networks besides the Web. For example, in a social system, one may be able to tell which of two people is richer without knowing their bank account balance. Such a criterion might explain the frequency and robustness of the complex structure observed in many real networks.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Informatics Researchers Throttle Notion Of Search Engine Dominance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060807154811.htm>.
Indiana University. (2006, August 7). Informatics Researchers Throttle Notion Of Search Engine Dominance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060807154811.htm
Indiana University. "Informatics Researchers Throttle Notion Of Search Engine Dominance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060807154811.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) Aereo heads to the Supreme Court today to fight for its right to stream broadcast TV over the Internet -- against broadcasters who say the start-up infringes upon copyright law. TheStreet Deputy Managing Editor Leon Lazaroff explains the importance of the case in the TV industry and details what the outcome of it could mean for broadcasters and for cloud storage services -- as Aereo allows its subscribers to not just watch live TV shows but also store content to a DVR in the cloud. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins