(8/30/02 3:41 am)
Search with Authority: The Teoma Difference
Teoma provides better results because it goes beyond traditional page ranking methods to determine authority, in addition to relevancy. To determine the authority or quality of a site's content, Teoma uses Subject-Specific PopularitySM. Subject-Specific Popularity ranks a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it, not just general popularity, to determine a site's level of authority.
To better understand why going to this next step is important, picture yourself as a participant in a popular game show. The final question arises and you need help with the answer. For one million dollars, you could ask the audience their opinion (similar to using other leading search technologies) or you could turn to an expert on the subject (similar to Subject-Specific Popularity).
How Teoma Works
In addition to utilizing existing search techniques, Teoma applies a new measure of relevance to deliver authoritative search results. To determine the level of authority associated with a site, Teoma employs three proprietary techniques, which are presented as Refine, Results and Resources.
First, Teoma organizes sites into naturally occurring communities that are about the subject of each search query. These communities are presented under the heading "Refine" on the Teoma.com results page. This tool allows a user to narrow or sharpen their search.
For example, a search for "Mustang" would present a user with a set of refinement suggestions such as "Ford Mustang", "Classic Mustang Parts", "Mustang Horses" and more. No other technology can dynamically cluster search results into the actual communities as they exist on the Web.
After identifying these communities, Teoma employs a technique called Subject-Specific Popularity. Subject-Specific Popularity analyzes the relationship of sites within a community, ranking a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it, among other things. In other words, Teoma determines the best answer for a search by asking experts within a specific subject community about who they believe is the best resource for that subject. By assessing the opinions of a site's peers, Teoma establishes authority for the search result. Relevant search results ranked by Subject-Specific Popularity are presented under the heading "Results" on the Teoma.com results page.
In some instances companies pay to have their Web sites included among those Teoma searches to determine the most relevant results. Like all Web sites, these sites are processed through Teoma's search algorithms and are not guaranteed placement in the results. This ensures that relevancy is the primary driver of results.
Finally, by dividing the Web into local subject communities, Teoma is able to find and identify expert resources about that subject. These sites feature lists of other authoritative sites and links relating to the search topic.
For example, a Civil War historian may have created a page devoted to his personal collection of favorite Civil War sites. This site would appear under the heading "Resources" in response to a Civil War-related query. No previous search technology has been able to find and rank these sites.
Why Teoma is Better
Teoma identifies highly authoritative web pages, not just relevant web pages.
Teoma delivers quality not just quantity.
Teoma is intuitive and contextual.