At this year's 24th International World Wide Web Conference, held in Florence, Italy, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, became the inaugural winners of a new Test-of-Time award.
The official name of the new prize is “The Seoul Test of Time Award” signalling the fact that it was set up and funded by the computer scientists who organized the 2014 World Wide Web Conference in Seoul. Its full name also distinguishes it from two existing Test of Time Awards which, like the new prize recognize, an influential publication from their previous conferences awarded by ACM Sigmetrics and the IEEE Computer Society.
Presenting the prize at the World Wide Web Conference in Florence on May 22, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Chair of the International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2) said:
“It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Sergei’s and Larry’s paper in 1998. I cannot think of any scientific paper that has had such an impact on society. On any metric, the Brin and Page paper has to be the clear winner of the first award. Google changed everything, and you heard about it first at a World Wide Web Conference.”
She also explained:
“This prize will be given each year to the author, or authors of a paper, presented at a previous World Wide Web Conference, that has, as the name suggests, stood the test of time.
On behalf of the organizing committee I would like to thank Professor Chin-Wan Chung, who led the organization of the Seoul Conference for his generosity and foresight in setting up this award.”
Andrei Broder, a Google Distinguished Scientist, and one of the three keynote speakers at the conference, accepted the glass trophies on behalf of Brin and Page who sent a video message to the conference delegates expressing appreciation for the award.
In the video Page said:
“There is still a ton of work left to do in Search, and on the Web as a whole and I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to be working in this space.”
To know more about the PageRank algorithm you can either read the original paper or see our explanation of it with the Babbage's Bag article on Search Engines. Over the years this algorithm appears to have been deprecated by Google and currently several algorithms are employed to produce the most relevant links to users' searches. One of the ways that search engines protect themselves from agressive SEO is to keep their algorithms secret so it is difficult to know how much PageRank currently matters to Google. You also have to wonder if Brin and Page would have published their paper had they known...
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