Google does not need my BuzzBadge. I need Google's buzz. I am awarding BuzzBadge to Google because it has helped me a lot in my quest to find the gems in the sea of web pages. It is doing a marvelous job indeed.
Interestingly, if you do a search for "search engine" on Google, the first result turns out to be altavista.com. Now you know Google does not discriminate.
Google has become the most used search engine because of its ultra-sophisticated search algorithm that is able to rank pages so well. A little search on the algorithm tells me that Google does not reveal the algorithm. However, search engine optimizers agree that the algorithm can be grouped into two categories, namely, on-page factors and off-page factors.
On-page factors include meta keywords, description, title of the page, the URL, keyword density, related keywords (recent popular Latent Semantic Indexing).
Off-page factors? It has been rumored that Google tracks thousands of off-page factors, such as the time a visitor spend on a page, a random visitor's browsing behavior, the number of in-pointing links to a website, how often does a visitor return... these are just some of the guesses, Google does not reveal them.
Google's recent acquisition of YouTube proves its courage (copyright infringement is a big issue with YouTube). However, Google might have found a way to get away. The punishment on Napster does not happen to Kazaa.
Hats off to Google.