Google’s PageRank and beyond. The science of search engine rankings. (English) Zbl 1104.68042

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (ISBN 0-691-12202-4/hbk). x, 214 p. (2006).
The book is concerned with a comprehensive and up-to-date presentation of Google’s search engine, with emphasis on Google’s PageRank model. It is organized in 16 chapters, the first 13 being directly involved in the presentation of the book’s subjects and the last 3 devoted to resources for web information retrieval, a mathematical guide and a glossary, respectively. The first 4 chapters, which introduce web search and link analysis, are aimed at the general science reader. They start with a short history of implementing retrieval, from ancient Romans and Greeks, up to Google’s birth in 1998 (Chapters 1–3). In Chapter 4 the basic ideas concerning the mathematics of Google’s PageRank are presented: original summation formula, the basic model, the computation of the PageRank vector, spectrum of the Google matrix. All these things are then developed at a much more sophisticated mathematical level in Chapters 5 to 12, in which the authors present: parameters and sensivity of PageRank, the PageRank problem as a linear system and its large-scale implementation, updating and ranking webpages (HITS and SALSA algorithms). Chapter 13 presents some aspects related to the future of web information retrieval: spam, clustering, intelligent agents, trends and time-sensitive search, data fusion.
The book is very attractively and clearly written. The authors succeed to manage in an optimal way the presentation of both basic and more sophisticated concepts involved in the analysis of Google’s PageRank, such that the book serves both audiences: the general and the technical scientific public.


68P20 Information storage and retrieval of data
68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science