Google searches for quality not quantity
A New Scientist article says that Google will dramatically improve the results of internet news searches. Currently Google News items are ranked only by time of publication, or by relevance. I had always (incorrectly) assumed that relevance was in indicator of quaility, but it is only based on the search keyword. They will now add a "weighting" factor for the BBC, Reuters, CNN etc - blindingly simple! Yet as Gary Price points out, this patent is from 2003, which the NS article fails to mention...
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.
So Bob's your uncle
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.
Looks as if ThreadWatch is going to have to employ more peopleto get included (again!)
and a bit at the end - obvious too when you think about it
The patent also reveals that the same system could be roped in to rank other search results, not simply news. So sales and services could in the future be listed on the basis of price and the reputation of the company involved.