After launching OpenSocial and creating the Open Handset Alliance, Google prepares to launch a platform that opens its most valuable service: the web search engine. The project, dubbed as OpenGoogle, will allow anyone to create a search engine that uses Google's index, but has a custom ranking algorithm and a personalized interface. You'll be able to select from a list of approximately 100 ranking signals like: the page's self-importance, the number of original ideas, the IQs of their authors, the number of links from Wikipedia, and decide their importance. The search engine can also learn from users' feedback and self-adjust the ranking weights.
Google wants to extend the existing Custom Search engines and let its users create some of the best vertical search engines. Obviously, this is also a great way to find new ideas, but, more importantly, Google hopes to accelerate the development of the next generation of its search engine, which will have a different interface and a different ranking algorithm, depending on the query.
"A fresh approach to fostering innovation in search will help shape a new computing environment that will change the way people access information in the future. Our vision is that the powerful platform we're unveiling will power thousands of different search engines," said Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO.
Even if Google's ranking algorithms will still remain a mystery, we'll have access to a powerful platform similar to the one used by Google to deliver search results in less than a quarter of a second.
For some countries, there's also AlmostOpenGoogle, which uses a slightly modified version of Google's index that doesn't include sites blacklisted by the government.
Along with Yahoo, Google will create the OpenAnything Foundation, a non-profit organization that intends to develop new initiatives for making the world more open and less interested in companies with an inappropriate and illegal influence over the world.