Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Microsoft looking at new filtering technology

Microsoft looking at new filtering technology
Microsoft has unveiled a research project at its Silicon Valley campus which uses statistical analysis to locate spam web pages.

Microsoft will be incorporating this new filtering technology into its forthcoming MSN Search portal, aiming to offer results free of web spam.

A spam web page is designed solely to fool search engines by linking keywords to web pages that the spammer wants to show up high in the search results.

Spammers are increasingly trying to weasel their way into search engine results, and Microsoft hopes that filtering them out can be one area where its tool can outshine Google's.

"This will be part of the [upcoming] Microsoft search," researcher Marc Najork told vnunet.com.

Microsoft has so far given little detail about its MSN Search project, which is designed to compete head on with Google. The new search technology is scheduled to be available this year.

In a sample of one billion web pages, Microsoft claims that eight per cent are spam.

In one case, the Microsoft researchers claim to have found a webpage in Germany that would constantly create pages filled with pieces of text that were copied from random web pages, linked to a porn site.

This not only leads visitors away from the webpage from which the text was copied, but gives the spammer an indefinite source of keywords and key phrases to link to.

The researchers found the site after their analysis identified that German web pages on average were updated more often than those in other geographies.

Source: Personal Computer World

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