Google Uses Pigeons to Determine Search Engine Pecking Order

Google Uses Pigeons to Determine Search Engine Pecking Order

Michael Lowe
Published: 04/01/2010


(Photo courtesy of Google)

Want to know the mystery behind Google’s success? Pigeon technology. Developed years ago, PigeonRank is a system for ranking  web pages and is attributed for the speedy and reliable success of the search engine. Using low cost Pigeon Clusters, or PCs, Google is able to compute “the relative value of web pages faster than human editors or machine-based algorithms.”

 

Pigeons are collected into dense clusters where monitors flash in front of their avian eyes. The birds receive search queries and when the monitors show a relevant page hit, the pigeons peck a bar giving that page a PigeonRank value of one. For each page, the points rise and relevancy increases.

 

However, recently, working conditions for the closely packed clusters of pigeons have come under fire from environmental groups. Despite Google’s efficiency, many are up in arms about the treatment of their pigeons and groups have been repeatedly denied access to inspect said facilities.

 

According to the site, pigeons are “Gathered from city parks and plazas by Google's pack of more than 50 Phds (Pigeon-harvesting dogs)” yielding questionable results as accounts of harmed pigeons have been reported.

 

However, Google attests it “exceeds all international standards for the ethical treatment of its pigeon personnel. Not only are they given free range of the coop and its window ledges, special break rooms have been set up for their convenience. These rooms are stocked with an assortment of delectable seeds and grains and feature the finest in European statuary for roosting.

Questions, however, have been raised about fair wages, long hours, and pigeon chick labor laws.

Happy April Fool's Day.

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