Natural Search Blog


A window into Google through error messages: PageRank vectors and IndyRank

There’s been plenty of speculation posted to the blogosphere on the recently discovered cryptic Google error message; my favorites being from Wesley Tanaka and from Teh Xiggeh.

What intrigues me most in the Google error message is the references to IndyRank and to PageRank possibly being a vector. In regards to IndyRank, Stuart Brown suspects it means an ‘independent ranking’ — a “human-derived page ranking scoring, independent of the concrete world of linking and keywords”.

In regards to a PageRank vector, Wesley hypothesizes:

“If page rank is actually a vector (multiple numbers) as opposed to a scalar (single number) like everyone assumes (and like is displayed by the toolbar). It would make sense — the page rank for a page could store other aspects of the page, like how likely it is to be spam, in addition to an idea of how linked-to the page is. The page rank you see in the google toolbar would be some scalar function of the page rank vector.”

Of course the Google engineers are probably laughing at all this.

2 comments for A window into Google through error messages: PageRank vectors and IndyRank »

  1. MyAvatars 0.2

    Thanks for the high praise. One would hope Google engineers are finding our speculation quite interesting, rather than laughing us off the web. Besides, it’s always fun knowing a secret and watching others skirt around the truth .. well, as a kid anyway!

    Comment by Xiggeh — 7/23/2006 @ 12:41 pm


  2. MyAvatars 0.2

    Great insight… Perhaps IndyRank is Google’s way of addressing their conflicting positions that a) they don’t manually alter natural rankings with b) the fact that they clearly demote/alter natural rankings for keywords having to do with race or ethnicity, for example.

    Comment by Clay — 8/17/2006 @ 9:44 am


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