Google Pagerank Joke


2002

The technology behind Google's great results

This was the headline at the top of a Google search engine page on April first along with a picture of rows of pigeons sitting in front of computers. The new Google page announced that, "The heart of Google's search technology is PigeonRank™, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University."

The announcement continued, "Building upon the breakthrough work of B. F. Skinner, Page and Brin reasoned that low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms. And while Google has dozens of engineers working to improve every aspect of our service on a daily basis, PigeonRank continues to provide the basis for all of our web search tools."

The article stated that because of the domestic pigeon, Columba livia's ability to be trained Google has been able to outpace the other search engines in their relevancy ranking tasks. The special characteristic of this pigeon is it ability to differentiate between minute details in web sites and sort them accordingly. Because of the PigeonRank™ system, Google is "superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings."

The pages, which get the most pigeon pecks, get ranked at the top of the keyword category for a particular search. B. F. Skinner who is known as the "Father of Behavioral Modification" in psychological circles, and an avid pigeon person, is given credit for his experiments with pigeons as breaking the ground for PigeonRank™ technology. The pigeons do not work in computer rooms, but rather "data coops" where they peck out search rankings for thousands of web sites and pigeon poop is recycled into monitor pixels for display on the Google homepage.

For the full text of this story check out the Google link at:

http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html

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