Google Search Powered By "PigeonRank"

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What's the secret behind Google's search engine technology? Pigeons.


This according to the company itself on a Web page at www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html.


"The heart of Google's search technology is PigeonRankā„¢, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University," copy on the page claims.


"Building upon the breakthrough work of B. F. Skinner, Page and Brin reasoned that low cost pigeon clusters (PCs) could be used to compute the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms," it continues.


"When a search query is submitted to Google, it is routed to a data coop where monitors flash result pages at blazing speeds," the copy said. "When a relevant result is observed by one of the pigeons in the cluster, it strikes a rubber-coated steel bar with its beak, which assigns the page a PigeonRank value of one. For each peck, the PigeonRank increases. Those pages receiving the most pecks, are returned at the top of the user's results page with the other results displayed in pecking order."


Alas, if it were only so easy.


The page was Google's contribution to April Fools Day, according to Eileen Rodriguez, consumer public relations manager, Google Inc., Mountain View, CA.


"We got some great feedback from users," she said, declining to be more specific.


Rodriguez said the idea was hatched by the Google's engineering department.


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