Searching for the personal touch

A stealth start-up out of Stanford University is hoping to raise the heat on one of the toughest problems in Web search–and possibly out-Google Google in the process.

Kaltix was formed in recent months by three members of Stanford’s PageRank team–a research group created to advance the mathematical algorithm developed by Google co-founder and Stanford alum Larry Page that cemented Google’s fame.

PageRank has helped steer people to Web sites like no other search technology before it, harnessing the link structure of the Web to determine the most popular pages. Now, Kaltix hopes to improve upon PageRank, with an attempt to speed up the underlying PageRank computations.

That, in turn, could lay the groundwork for a breakthrough in a cutting-edge area of Web search development known as “personalization,” which aims to sort search results based on the specific needs and interests of individuals, instead of the consensus approach pioneered by Google. [Searching for the personal touch | CNET]

Sounds like acquisition time for Google…

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