Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Self Interest Part DEUX - CORRECTED!

Based on his reply and reputation as a mathemetician, the author of the of Search Index Sizes study has done nothing wrong and the study is NOT yet finished. He's removing the preliminary report from the web today but will get me the link when it's done:

Rajeev Motwani of Stanford to me on Feb 16:
This is an extremely preliminary report of our work that was only supposed to be
circulated amongst our immediate research group for their comments and criticism.
The results reported there are not yet in a form appropriate for public consumption
and definitely will change as we conduct more precise experiments ...

Earlier:
Just as I was validating my concerns about a self interested real estate agent protecting her commission on a home deal I came across this study of Google index sizes <<>>

According to Yahoo's Tim Converse in the cited blog, the lead author is an "early Google investor". The increasing number of relationships of academics to the companies they study , let alone may help launch, should be of great concern to those of us who'd like studies to be done in a strict and objective academic environment.

Here's my note to Stanford:

Is it true that the author of this paper is "an early Google investor"? This was reported in the comment section of this blog:
http://www.seobythesea.com/?p=113

If yes he should disclose this fact on studies like this that may have a bearing on the value of Google, or is it Stanford's policy to simply overlook the relationships of professors to companies that they study?

I in NO WAY mean to suggest he's biased in this study, though the mention of "high PageRank" bias may explain Google's spectacular showing vis a vis MS and Yahoo search which are thought by most to factor PageRank (aka query independent rank) far less significantly than Google.


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