Hilltop? You Must be Joking

Okay, this one comes up a lot, and it came up again today in an email from my good friend Michael Campbell so I thought I’d try to actually blog for a change.

It seems that someone (who shall remain namesless for the momeent at least) is raising all a fuss about how Google is using the Hilltop algo, and you therefore have to have their brand new widget to rank and nothing else will do.

Drivel! Here’s part of my note to Michael:

To suggest that Google is using Hilltop is like saying they use the Meta Keywords tag. Please! Hilltop was never used, and will never be used, because it is totally old news that never out performed Google circa 2000. Moreover, Google gets Hilltop for free, but they paid really money for what Taher brought with him, so if anyone is looking for a new algo at Google, they should look at TSPR and its cousins. We can be certain they are using BlockRank or a kin even now.

Worse, these guys seem to think that "Hubs and Authorities" is synonomous with Hilltop. Wrong again. Hubs and authorities is Kleinberg’s algorithm, which Hilltop references as prior art, but they are not the same.

And finally, always follow the money: why would Google roll out a new logorithm when search quality is not a critical success factor? New revenue streams is what they are about. They already own search, why would they need to "improve" it?

I’ve blogged this before, but…

Google is just sitting on search technology to keep some other pair of grad students from retiring before they grow facial hair. They use maybe one tenth of what they have licensed or patented. But they continue to buy and patent more because it keeps other grad students poor and drives SEOs crazy reading academic papers that don’t matter instead of turning the crank on what does matter.

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