Google Being Challenged By Italian Professor

    February 10, 2012

The man who helped inspire Google has created a new search engine that will directly compete with the search engine giant.

Massimo Marchiori, an Italian computer science professor, launched Volunia to a select group of users on Monday. It’s an interesting mash-up of a search engine and social media platform. The service will allow users to “view the components of particular Web sites to find the subject of interest more quickly and to interact with registered users who might be looking at the same Web pages,” according to The Economic Times.

“The web is a living place. There is information but there are also people. The social dimension is already present, it just has to emerge,” Marchiori said.

Marchiori used to teach at MIT where he came up with the algorithm for the Internet page ranking system service “HyperSearch” in the 1990s.

The project has been under development for the past four years in Italy.

He has been quoted as saying that Google founder Larry Page came up to him after a conference on HyperSearch. He says that Page asked to use the search algorithm. Since it was not patented, Page reportedly implemented it into Google. Marchiori holds no ill will against the search giant, however, and says that Page used his algorithm in the “best possible way.”

Marchiori believe that all search giants will soon be implementing a combined search/social media platform soon.

Volunia was launched to power users on Monday to test out the service, but it will be rolled out to all users in 12 languages over the coming days.

They hope to keep the site up and running by selling advertising space.

Here’s a few videos that explain in detail what Volunia is and how it works. With Google already implementing “Search, Plus Your World” across its service, it’s only a matter of time before they integrate the ideas that Volunia brings to the table.