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Searching the web accurately is becoming increasingly critical as the web grows. In this study we have revisited the question if link-based methods hold any advantage over state-of-the-art keyword-based methods for searching a web collection. For the type of queries used in the study: finding the web site of an entity, we observe that commercial search engines that use some link-based ranking schemes outperform a modern keyword-based algorithm by a large margin. Such queries are quite prevalent in web search. The results from this study establish, for the first time, that for a certain type of queries, link-based ranking algorithms are indeed better than using a modern keyword-based algorithm. Most previous studies that have done this comparison tend to show otherwise. It would be interesting to extend this work to other types of queries as well, for example to the queries that seek high quality web sites on a certain topic.

Amit Singhal 2001-02-18