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A search for "conjunctivitis" on Kosmix
Two students that studied with Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford could end up being Google's biggest challenger

Larry Page, Sergey Brin and their famous search engine have become household names throughout the world, and rightly so. Considered to be the world's most powerful search, some of the things its able to dig up have started becoming quite controversial. However, no matter how good Google is, staying at the very top is the hardest thing to do.

During their college years, Page and Brin were students are Stanford University -- just two regular students developing a project. Of course, that project has become one of the most important resources on the net. But during that time, Page and Brin were not alone. While public media were focused squarely on Google and its success as well as power, two other Stanford students were right alongside Page and Brin, developing their own engine.

Kosmix, the new search engine that promises to revolutionize results, is the brainchild of Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan. But instead of being another seach engine, Rajaraman and Harinaryan promise Kosmix to be different. Google indexes massive amounts of web pages on the net, and it determines a page's relevance to queries by measuring how often it is linked from referring websites. A website that has many incoming referrals will be deemed highly relevant, even if another page containing more real relevant information is out there but doesn't have anyone linking to it.

Kosmix promises to deliver better results by analyzing the content of a website, and not only its URL referrer popularity. Results are categorized similiar to Yahoo, but the categories are answers to questions rather than general tags. Right now, Kosmix has launched as a health-related search engine, but Rajaraman and Harinaryan claim new categories will launch every few months.

Right now, entering a search is just as easy as it is on Google, but Kosmix promises a higher level of accuracy for users. Usually, users tend to enter more than one keyword anyway if they wish to achieve relatively accurate results. A quick search for "conjunctivitis" on Kosmix shows the versatility of the "answers," Rajaraman points out.  The Google search for the same subject varies wildly after the first few matches.

On Kosmix's unassuming search home page, the engine claims an index of over 2.7 billion pages and growing. Oddly enough, Kosmix currently uses Google's AdWords program on its site.  Rajaram and Harinarayan will officially launch Kosmix next week. 






"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007










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