Web search engines such as Google look at which page links to which page to determine what are the authoritative Web pages. A good algorithm in this context is one that is hard to fool: if you and your friends decide to mutually add link to each others, it should be hard to make much of a difference. Sérgio commented earlier on this blog that PageRank is known to be just a marketing. So I decided to go hunting. Up until now, I thought PageRank was a clever idea because it feels like it would be harder to fool it than just counting how many in-bound link a page has. It was not very long before I found a reference that supported Sérgio’s claim:
Log of indegree was highly correlated with Google-reported PageRank scores, and just as effective when predicting desirable company attributes. Further, we found that PageRank scores for sites within a known spam network were no lower than would be expected on the basis of their indegree. We encounter no compelling evidence to support the use of PageRank over indegree.
Reference: Upstill, T. and Craswell, N. and Hawking, D., Predicting fame and fortune: Pagerank or indegree, ADCS2003, 2003.
Anyone knows of any demonstrated benefit of PageRank over merely counting the number of inbound links? Is PageRank more resilient at all?
Update: do read the comments! They are more interesting than my post.