Back in September, we reported that University of New South Wales (Sydney) PhD student Ori Allon filed a patent for a revolutionary search algorithm which not only returns a snippet of a page relevant to a search term, but a section of a relevant page, and also lists other topics related to the search term. This provides searchers with a broader choice of contextually relevant search results, and increases the quality and usefulness of search results for users.
After talks with all three major search engines – Google, Yahoo! and MSN – Ori Allon and the University of New South Wales have decided to sell the rights to the algorithm to Google. This week, Google confirmed that it acquired the Orion search technology for an undisclosed sum, and that twenty-six year old Ori Allon is now working for Google in California.
Dr Eric Martin, Allon’s university supervisor on the Orion algorithm, said that the Orion project would be completed within the next 12 to 18 months. He also emphasized the user-friendliness of the new algorithm: “You won’t have to click and see if what you’re after is in this Web page, and go back and forth again and again. This will give the information directly and immediately. It will be a great time-saver for users.”
While Google has bought the rights to the new search technology, the University of New South Wales will retain ownership of the algorithm since it was developed within the framework of the university’s PhD program.