Brij Singh's Blog

April 29, 2005

But we will not hire human beings

Filed under: Media — Brij Singh @ 6:56 pm

Thats the message from Google’ s new patent application for news ranking algorithm. According to NewScientist:

Google.. plans to build a database that will compare the track record and credibility of all news sources around the world, and adjust the ranking of any search results accordingly.

The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site.

Google will take all these parameters, weight them according to formulae it is constructing, and distil them down to create a single value. This number will then be used to rank the results of any news searchplans to build a database that will compare the track record and credibility of all news sources around the world, and adjust the ranking of any search results accordingly.

The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site.

Google will take all these parameters, weight them according to formulae it is constructing, and distil them down to create a single value. This number will then be used to rank the results of any news searchplans to build a database that will compare the track record and credibility of all news sources around the world, and adjust the ranking of any search results accordingly.

The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site.

Google will take all these parameters, weight them according to formulae it is constructing, and distil them down to create a single value. This number will then be used to rank the results of any news search 

Problem with this approach is that they are trying to automate the intelligence which will drive news filtering process and in that quest allowing machines to decide what’s important for the readers.

Knowing their past this algorithm will be kept secret and APIs will be very restricted in what syndicated partners can do with it. I am wondering how many more years till mainstream media wakes up and realizes that Google has taken away their readers and almost on the verge of walking away with the chunk of their ad revenue.

I doubt there is much they can do except opening their newspapers for the end-user driven activism. Have blog and wiki on every newspaper and print best end-user writings on the print media as well. They have to get the readers back and get them back as  players this time. And do it fast.

Update: For those who criticize me for getting "jealous" about Google’s success, my pointer to this post from Jeff Jarvis. Jeff definitely knows more about media than me. How about this to get the problem in right perspective:  "Is Google the trojan horse of the internet".

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