While Google is busy rolling out a PageRank update, Microsoft is researching what they hope will be the next big thing in search: BrowseRank. The technology takes user browsing habits into account when determining relevant search results.
We propose computing page importance by using a 'user browsing graph' created from user behavior data. In this graph, vertices represent pages and directed edges represent transitions between pages in the users' web browsing history. Furthermore, the lengths of staying time spent on the pages by users are also included. The user browsing graph is more reliable than the link graph for inferring page importance.
You can read the full paper by Microsoft Asia researchers here (pdf).
Earlier, we reported that Steve Ballmer says that search needs innovation. Will BrowseRank achieve that goal? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.