Mining the Web's link structure
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Computer 32 (8): 60--67 (1999)

The Web is a hypertext body of approximately 300 million pages that continues to grow at roughly a million pages per day. Page variation is more prodigious than the data's raw scale: taken as a whole, the set of Web pages lacks a unifying structure and shows far more authoring style and content variation than that seen in traditional text document collections. This level of complexity makes an “off-the-shelf” database management and information retrieval solution impossible. To date, index based search engines for the Web have been the primary tool by which users search for information. Such engines can build giant indices that let you quickly retrieve the set of all Web pages containing a given word or string. Experienced users can make effective use of such engines for tasks that can be solved by searching for tightly constrained key words and phrases. These search engines are, however, unsuited for a wide range of equally important tasks. In particular, a topic of any breadth will typically contain several thousand or million relevant Web pages. How then, from this sea of pages, should a search engine select the correct ones-those of most value to the user? Clever is a search engine that analyzes hyperlinks to uncover two types of pages: authorities, which provide the best source of information on a given topic; and hubs, which provide collections of links to authorities. We outline the thinking that went into Clever's design, report briefly on a study that compared Clever's performance to that of Yahoo and AltaVista, and examine how our system is being extended and updated
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