Page Ranking Algorithms

Page Ranking Algorithms
Project description
Page Ranking Assignment
A 500-700 word paper single-spaced submitted to the Page Ranking Turnitin assignment.
Chapter 3 in “9 Algorithms” discusses how search engines have an “uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results”. The author discusses the “Hyperlink Trick”, the “Authority Trick”, and “Random Surfer Trick”. showed up as one of the first links on Google’s search results for online eyeglasses in late 2010, but for all the wrong reasons. After the NY Times published “A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web” ( Google quickly modified its secret sauce. Read the NY Times article and BetaBeat’s followup: “Brooklyn Scammer,, Will See Jail Time”,(
There is a business in search engine optimization (SEO). To get a practical view of how web sites can increase their rating and avoid problems check:
What Is Google PageRank? A Guide For Searchers & Webmasters (//
On-Page Factors: (
July 2011 UltraNoir article about Panda, Google’s updated indexing/ranking algorithm (!/blog/web_3.0/google_panda).
In your paper :
Briefly explain each of the page ranking techniques MacCornick describes. For each trick indicate what property the trick was supposed to measure or problem the trick solved. (Check with a friend or parent to see if your description makes sense to someone else.)
Discuss which of the tricks was fooled into giving DecorMyEyes a high page ranking by Google.
If the UltraNoir article doesn’t provide pertinent techniques, propose a modification to Google’s ranking algorithm to solve the type of problem that DecorMyEyes situation presented. (MacCormick alluded to the problem on page 35 of his book.)
Discuss one positive factor and one negative SEO factor from Vaughn Aubuchon’s site.
Explain the relationship between page ranking and “googlebombing”.
On the midterm exam there will be a question which will allow you to answer a question about Freakonomics or mug shots online and their relationship to Google’s page ranking algorithm. The question might ask about the relationship between the calculation of page rankings and the ads which appear as a results of a name search on Google or the effect of page rankings on commerce.
A Freakonomics podcast dealt with a surprising phenomenon: searches for “Latanya Sweeney” brought up an ad, “Latanya Sweeney, Arrested?” Searching for Tanya Sweeney” did not. Read the transcript ( or listen to the recording on iTunes (there is a link from the transcript. The ame of the episode is “How Much Does Your Name Matter?” (If you are pressed for time, you can start reading the transcript where Latanya Sweeney says, “Sure I’m Latanya Sweeney.” and stop when the transcript reads, “ANNOUNCER: From WNYC and APM, American Public Media: This is Freakonomics Radio. Here’s your host, Stephen Dubner.” If you listen to the podcast on iTunes this means that you will be listening to half the program.)
On a related note, a New York Times article Mugged by a Mug Shot Online described how web sites whose business depended on people paying to have their mug shots taken down were adversely affected by a change in Google’s ranking algorithm. If you have hopes for gainful employment after graduation this article may be of interest.
It’s not needed for this assignment, but there is a very informative and insightful 2009 interview with Matt Cutts in Bloomberg Businessweek about how Google minimizes Web Spam and spot checks its search results. The article is “Matt Cutts: How Google Deals With Web Spam” (

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