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The History of PageRank and Iterative Searching Algorithms

PageRank is Google’s famous web searching algorithm, that has made Google the gold standard of search engines and has made founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page billionaires. When the Standford Duo first deployed PageRank in 1998, no major search engine at the time had used or developed anything near as efficient as PageRank. This allowed Google to overtake the market and become the giant that it is today. This technology, however, was nothing revolutionary or new. A few prior a similar technology called Hypertext Induced Topic Search(HITS), outlined a similar algorithm for searching the web, which saw web pages as “hubs” and “authorities”.  The article, discusses the history of “PageRank” and of iterative searching algorithms. It delves deep to the history and work done on such algorithms. Work done to efficiently search things and topics, as broad as academic journals and as narrow as economic sectors in the US economy. The article, discovers that one of the earliest forerunners to PageRank, was developed by a Harvard economist Wassily Leontief. Who in 1941, developed a way to divided the country’s economy into sectors and to rank each sector by the importance of what supplies it. This early concept was then refined in 1965 by Charles Hubbell, who developed a technique to determine the importance of someone based on the importance of people who endorsed them. This technology was then refined further by Jon Kleinberg into HITS, which was then foreshadowed the development and deployment of PageRank and Google.

Article: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/417529/scientist-finds-pagerank-type-algorithm-from-the-1940s/

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