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Link is the currency of the Web


Though links have heavily used, they have always been fundamental to the Web. There is a popular but flawed assumption about web that all its nodes are equally accessible. Yes, the web has no formalized structure or centralized organization to design web sites, and different web browsers obey and interpret the markup languages and scripting languages in different ways. But, it is a fact that certain web sites have gained more accessible than others.

Only in the last few years their value has become regulated as search engines and other systems  that find and define the structures of the Web increasingly index links and anchor text in addition to keywords and paper content.

Today, Google, a successful and pioneer search engine, has completely taken over the market by using links as the primary method of determining the value and thereby the deserved visibility of a web site. Google interprets links to a web page as objective, peer-endorsed and machine-readable signs of value.

Google indexes links between web sites and interprets a link from A to B as an endorsed of B by A. Links may have different values. If A has a lot of links to it, and C has few links to it, then a link from A to B is worth more than a link from C to B. The value determined in this way is called a page's PageRank and determines its placement in search results. (The PageRank is used in addition to conventional text indexing to generate highly accurate search results.) Links can be analyzed more accurately and usefully than traffic or page views, and have become both measure of success and dispensers of rank.

Links are increasingly being used in preference to content indexing, not only in search engines but for instance to identify communities of web sites, or, on a more local scale, to examine social networks and the movement of memes among web loggers. There is an assumption in this PageRank that links provide an objective measure of value and are a sign of peer-endorsement.


Created by Lan Man

Last Modified: Nov 11, 2002