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Block-level link analysis - what does it mean to you?

Microsoft's research lab has released a paper in which they discuss a new way to rank web sites. The new method is called "block-level link analysis".

What is block-level analysis?

It's Microsoft attempt to deal with the faults in PageRank and HITS (Hyperlink Induced Topic Search):

Link Analysis has shown great potential in improving the performance of web search. PageRank and HITS are two of the most popular algorithms.

Most of the existing link analysis algorithms treat a web page as a single node in the web graph. However, in most cases, a web page contains multiple semantics and hence the web page might not be considered as the atomic node.

In this paper, the web page is partitioned into blocks using the vision-based page segmentation algorithm.

By extracting the page-to-block, block-to-page relationships from link structure and page layout analysis, we can construct a semantic graph over the WWW such that each node exactly represents a single semantic topic. This graph can better describe the semantic structure of the web.

Based on block-level link analysis, we proposed two new algorithms, Block Level PageRank and Block Level HITS, whose performances we study extensively using web data.

How does it work?

In short, the new ranking system assumes that all links on a web page are not equal. The idea is that a web page can be divided into blocks that have different topics.

The weight and the relevance of a link is determined by its location within the blocks. By dividing a web page into blocks, web pages are no longer the smallest unit when doing a web search.

Does this mean better search engine results?

Will this method deliver better search results than today? This has yet to be proved. One problem might be that computers only see the text on a web page and that human surfers see a combination of pictures and text.

The same web page may look different to a search engines spider and to a human visitor.

What does this mean to me and my web site?

This new concept is still in the beta phase and not yet official. While it might improve the way search engines rank web pages, we still have to see if Microsoft really uses this algorithm in its new search engine. At the moment, you don't have to react to this new ranking method.

Today, Google and Yahoo are the most important search engines. To optimize your web pages for the latest ranking algorithms of Google, Yahoo and other major search engines, take a look at the highly recommended software program IBP.

Copyright - Internet marketing and search engine ranking software

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August 2004 search engine articles