Search Engines and the Application of Graph Theory (Page Rank)

The search engine Google uses a method to provide ordered listings called Page Rank. Page Rank is fundamentally a concept of graph theory by using IP Addresses (your domain names  address) as your vertices , and hyperlinks located on that site as edges.

In this form of graph theory, edges have weight. This means that the more weight for each edge, they are more likely to be traveled on if you think of the bridges example. In the case of search engines the higher weight accumulated for each website determines where it will be put in the order of search results.

What is interesting is that If a person knew exactly how the Page Rank algorithm worked then they could potentially have their website placed higher on google’s search results.

You can read more about it (Here on Cornell’s Blog)

11 Replies to “Search Engines and the Application of Graph Theory (Page Rank)”

  1. I find this interesting because it’s as if we all sort of knew it was displayed in a way that the most relevant and popular would be at the top. It’s also interesting to think what our search pages would look like if it displayed it using most sponsored pages at the top or if it didn’t display it using popularity but if it was simply more fitting to your google search. Thinking of what we see at the top of our pages is always weird to think about because it’s also government run and we’re also seeing what they want us to see so a lot of things will be censored even if we search for them, they will make it further to the bottom and what they want you to see further to the top.

  2. This is very interesting. I wonder if more well known sites use this to have their page rank higher instead of paying for it to be a higher rank site. This is mostly unfair and biased. This is a perfect theory to show how biased and manipulated search engines are.

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