MSN Search Research Awards

MSN have instigated the “Accelerating Search in Academic Research” Awards:

Researchers from 36 countries submitted proposals for research to advance the field of search. The 12 winners will receive grant money from Microsoft Live Labs and access to a set of MSN Search query logs in order to push forward our understanding of the Internet, search, and online social behaviors.

The most interesting thing is that the research will be made public. Nice move, MSN!

The topics include:

  • VISP: Visualizing Information Search Processes
  • Vinegar: Leading Indicators in Query Logs
  • Entity and Relation Types in Web Search: Annotation, Indexing and Scoring Techniques
  • Deepening Search: From the Surface to the Deep Web
  • Discovering and Using Meta-Terms
  • Incorporating Trust into Web Authority
  • Statistical Machine Learning for User Modelling
  • Combining Econometric and Text Mining Approaches for Measuring the Effect of Online Information Exchange
  • The Truth is Out There: Aggregating Answers from Multiple Web Sources
  • Predictive Exploitation of Click-Through Knowledge
  • Social Search: Bringing the Social Component to the Web
  • Mine Query/Click Log for Collaborative Internet Search

Some great topics in there, so I’ll be following this one closely when the results are released.

Of particular interest to SEOs:

Incorporating Trust into Web Authority: The Web has become a battleground for control over search engine results. Search providers continually work to improve the quality of their product, while marketers strive for ever increasing visibility. Web link analysis is now well-targeted by search engine marketers, and so “web spam” has become increasingly visible in Web search. In this project, we incorporate a number of measures of trust and distrust to improve estimates of Web page and site authority, reducing or eliminating the effect of Web spam in the process”

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