Dwell Rank – A different Page Ranking Algorithm

Yesterday, I came across Bipplex, a search engine. Instead ranking pages based on something similar to Google’s PageRank, it uses an algorithm called Dwell Rank. Dwell rank is explained here.

We learned that the biggest commitment a user can make to a web page and content, is the time the user spends on it. We can safely assume that a web page where users only spend a few seconds on is not as important as a page where they spend several minutes. That’s a much stronger commitment than hitting a like button can ever be. And it’s a stronger indication for quality content than links between machines. We call this new way of ranking pages, Dwell Rank.

So I tried it out with a few searches. Here is one, I would like to share:

blippexA few observations:

  • You can control the Dwell factor with a slider. As you reduce the Dwell Factor, the results change dynamically.
  • You can control how recently Bipplex has seen the link (currency of information control)
  • I noticed at least one problem with indexing. It seems to pick up search phrases across sentence boundaries which causes some erroneous results.
  • The effectiveness of this search engine really depends on user participation (you can download a browser extension that tracks the pages and the amount of time you spend on each page).

Overall, I think, it is a cool idea and has some potential. It has an API (have not tried it yet).  I can see several custom versions that may be more useful in communities of interest. I especially like their philosophy of transparency, especially this part:

Search Parameters should be transparent

Every parameter of the search should be available for the people who are using it. That said, it’s a work in progress, especially with the scoring of search terms, but it is possible to control how many days the search should go back and influence the final scoring in terms of search term frequency (how often the search term is mentioned on the page) versus Dwell Rank.


With the slow death of organic search on other search engines, it will be nice to have a really transparent product that can be reused.  Here are a few of my wish list items for search (will expand and explain this in a future post).

  1. It will be great to have a customizable Search as a Service.
  2. It will be great if we can tune some of the search parameters (give your own weights to different aspects of search)
  3. For developers it will be great to get some contextual meta data along with search results so that they can build better interfaces.


3 thoughts on “Dwell Rank – A different Page Ranking Algorithm

  1. Hi,

    I am the CEO & co-founder of archify/Blippex and want to thank you for the review!
    I really like your wish list! We will release this week the first dump of our database and i would love to hear your feedback on that and what we should add to it!

    Thank you,

    1. Max,
      You guys are doing a great job. I love your philosophy. Will be happy to help in whatever way I can. I have specific ideas about communities and will be happy to share some of them.


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