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It almost seems
> that all the metadata in the world won't really change the way something
> like Google works except that the types of links one can make will become
> greater in number, and perhaps some types of links may prove better than
> others (eg. RSS vs. xpointer to stretch things a little).
The links Google uses are one of numerous axes along which metadata could be
extracted or created. It just so happens that this axis isn't far off
perpendicular to the one that most explicit metadata (topic, author) deals
with. It's probably not far off the vectors of trust and reputation, an
region that needs a bit more development before the web gets much older. But
in general I think the more of these semantic axes we draw through
cyberspace (congealing metadataspace?), the more available and useful the
> > "Google can derive statistics about the number of Web-authors
> > who believe that that page is important enough to link to,
> > and hence make extremely reliable guesses about how reputable
> > the information on that page is." really? my friend freddy's
> > got a website with links to the most unreliable sites on the
> > web. how does that affect google's 'reputability' scoring?
> Probably not one iota; your friend Freddy is likely not going to be
> considered an authority by Google. The evaluation of links is
> recursive and
> global. So, someone else has to also value Freddy's opinion
> before Google is
> going to let him influence things. Yes Freddy and Martha could collude to
> point to each others sites but a local island of links still
> won't have much
> affect on the global evaluation.
The reputation angle is something which *demands* extra help in the form of
explicit metadata. If Freddy is talking about Freddy then he's probably the
best authority there is, which is easy to state explicitly but very
difficult to mine from a quagmire like the web.
> > maybe the number of links to a page is a measure of exactly
> > that and nothing else - but do feel free make any assumptions
> > you want about why those links are there. personally i don't
> > tend to see googles search results as a reputability grading
> > at all, and i wouldn't recommend that anyone does ("it's
> > true, i found it on google!").
> Of course not, TV news anchors and newspaper editors are the true font of
> all knowledge...
Agreed, there are plenty of dodgier authorities around (the Daily Telegraph
springs to mind ;-)
> > ultimately, if you care about the information that you
> > publish, then you care about the metainformation.
> > it's generally much easier to find web pages that have
> > meaningful titles.