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Google acquires search algorithm

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday April 11, 2006 )

SEO forums have been buzzing for the last couple of days about this story. Google has bought the rights to a new algorithm touted to improve search engine results from the University of NSW (Australia).

It’s my understanding that this isn’t an entirely new search appliance as such, but a “plugin” that can be used with existing search engines.

Given that the algorithm behind search results is so important, it’s no surprise that Google snapped this one up before it wound up elsewhere; if even just to prevent it from winding up in the hands of competitors.

The 26 year old student behind the algorithm is Ori Allon, an Israeli – and his development is called “Orion” – cute, huh :). At least they didn’t name it something extraordinarily non-relevant like ChickenFur as geeks are wont to do :).

Ori is now employed by Google and working at the Googleplex in California on Orion, so it’s nice to see that this isn’t just another invention that’s been bought to keep from others, only to gather dust in a patent collection.

Google, the university and Ori are quite tight-lipped about the deal, and there’s been no mention of the amount of money changing hands or ongoing royalties for the uni.

There has been some concern amongst webmasters and marketers about one known feature of Orion – expanded text extracts. Exactly what this means, nobody knows yet; but some have guessed that it could have a negative impact on site owners whereby the visitor has less of a need to visit the actual site.

In regards to this fear, Ori states:

“I don’t envision that Orion will completely eliminate the need for going to actual web pages but rather expedite the search process”

… completely? Hrm.

At any rate, after the buzz has died down, I’m sure that Google and Ori will quietly continue development until the day it is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world – which will also be the day that sales of Valium to web site site owners will also reach a new high. Or perhaps it will be the spammers who are forced to buy the products they litter the SERP’s with while they watch their ill-gotten empires crumble? One can only hope :).

You can learn a little, and I mean a little, more about Ori and Orion in this interview. Congratulations Ori, enjoy your moment in the sun! :).


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