zizhuang is a Rankmaniac 2010!


Breaking News! A new assignment from the same class has von Ahn encouraging us to click on a sponsored link to expend the money that he put forth for it! Through spending his money by bombarding his sponsored ad (under the Google search for "15396", it is the sponsored link named "CMU 15396"). If you're following things around here, help us out by doing it! It's not illegal, since this course of action was invited and openly provoked by the victim, so I'm sure you won't get slammed for click fraud.
Hey there. If you've wandered down here, you're probably wondering what the heck this website is supposed to mean. Well, I'm an undergraduate student of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and you've stumbled into one of my homework assignments for the class Science of the Web! (Homework 6 [note - it's a PDF], specifically.) The problem statement is simply thus:

In this problem, you are asked to attempt to beat us (Luis and the invincible TAs) by creating a webpage which will, after a period of time (1 month), be ranked higher than the page we will create.

Your webpage should contain, among other content, the phrase "<Your name> is a rankmaniac". Your goal is to get google to rank that webpage as high as possible in the search results to the search query "rankmaniac".

In your writeup (worth 20 points), explain what techniques you tried in boosting the page rank of your page and why these techniques would work theoretically.

The rest of the points are based on the ranking of your page on google under the search query "rankmaniac". If your page shows up on google when we search for "rankmaniac", you will get 10 points automatically. If you beat the ranking of our page, you will get an extra 10 points. After that, additional score is based on 22-2N for the 10 people who have their webpage ranked the highest, where N is their rank (e.g., 20 points for the top poster, 18 for the second place, etc.).


Quite a doozy, eh? Well, admittedly, our professor is a hilarious and crazy kind of guy, so we've already had a couple of assignments that do fun things with the internet; this is just another.

If you happened to read all the way down here (thanks for taking your time!), I would humbly request that, if it were not too much trouble for you, to plunk a link to this place somewhere on the internet. After all, Google Pageranking respects the legion! Feel free to e-mail me at zizhuang at andrew dot cmu dot edu if you've any questions about this or any other of our crazy little projects. :)

Yes, I know that Google dislikes linking schemes. However, this isn't really a scheme as we're not really competing for any position in a way that would dilute the Google search results - consider it a friendly exercise in learning more about the internet. Some time in the near future, I might keep a log here to keep track of progress.

Until then, see you later!

There certainly seems to be many rankmaniac 2010s out there... I mean, seriously, this rankmaniac 2010 crusade is getting pretty rankmaniac 2010-y. There's even a rankmaniac 2010 net going around!
This rankmaniac 2010 root node brought to you by a rankmaniac 2010 in a rankmaniac 2010 center near you!

The Chronicles of Rankmaniac-ism!

10-14-2008 It begins. Oh, the horror, the horror.
- First tactics pop up! I unearth my inert-for-five-years Livejournal. Stick a post on Digg. Change around some forum signatures.
- I chose to use my own domain for this, rather than one that already exists (such as our college-given webspace and the one given for this class, both places where we are given webspace). Though this negates some early page-ranking consideration, it also ensures that I don't get owned if my page becomes a branch of some other page and then gets shoved off.
10-21-2008 It gets going! The bugs! They're coming!
- About half the class have their keywords flitting around here by now. I'm oscillating around the front page. Around the end of this week, I'll fall to page 2.
- Some more novel pages (and brilliant ideas, like rankcube) pop up. People are throwing around sponsored links. I reeeally don't want to spend money on homework.
- The branching from the people who used the college space (contrib.andrew.cmu.edu or just andrew.cmu.edu) and the class space (scienceoftheweb.org) starts occuring.
- Hilarity ensues as some of those branches fall off the face of the earth every once in a while.
10-28-2008 Halfway point! Are the zombies gone yet?
- Listing starts to be more cemented. I'm hanging in there on the front page. The TA's page, which we have to beat, came up - but it's nowhere to be found. Good signs?
- Found the TA's page; it's like in the 130th place. Good times!
11-04-2008 One week left-ish! Charge! Forward!
- I've moved up to 4th to 5th place, snazzy. - Google's branching algo is kind of funny, which is part of why I didn't go for a common domain. There's a person who moves between 2nd and 11th place, depending on whether he's grouped with the 1st place guy or not. Haw.
- Another google-related assignment has arrived! Look up.
11-11-2008 At 4 weeks! Terminus est
- Counting all the pages on the rankings that are actually supposed to be ranked (rankmaniac.net isn't actually ttuttle's page, for instance, and wolf-howl is a third-party participant), I have somehow become 2nd! Whoa, awesome. Thanks for anyone who's linked here without me knowing! It's been cool.
- Also, we have apparently attracted two SEO consultants onto our little competition. Uh oh, this might become a sensation.
02-03-2010 Rankmaniac again! ...at Caltech?
- Apparently, this assignment has made a revival at Caltech! (PDF again).
- And so, the flurry for links continue, and I say 'heck, why not?' So, observe: Patrick Liang is a rankmaniac 2010!
- When other CMU-ites caught wind of it, though, they wanted to make the 'beat CMU' part a wee harder, so here it is. <_< rankmaniac 2010