RankDex was established in 1996 by Robin Li who previously worked for Infoseek, an Internet search engine in the early years, as an engineer.
RankDex was the leading Internet search provider from 1996-2001 until Baidu was launched in China. RankDex was the first search engine that used hyperlinks to measure the quality of websites it was indexing. Many experts and commentators are unaware that RankDex was cited in Lawrence Page’s patent application for Google PageRank as the first qualitative search engine (Patent number: US6285999 B1 entitled "Method for node ranking in a linked database.") In 1998 RankDex was acquired by a Dow Jones subsidiary Tradeline (formerly IDD Information Services and GARI Software Associates).
Following IDD Information Services’ name change to Tradeline, the RankDex technology was licensed back to Robin Li for the Chinese search engine, Baidu and has since also been licensed to Microsoft's Bing, Yandex, and Tradeline. The name Baidu was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during China's Song Dynasty. Baidu, whose literal meaning is "hundreds of times," represents a persistent search for the ideal.
"As a technology-based media company, RankDex aims to provide the best way for people to find information. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, RankDex provides an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers.
Our mission is to provide the best way for people to find information. To do this we listen carefully to our users' needs and wants. Have we collected all the web pages they want to see? Are the pages current and up to date? Are the search results closely related to their queries? Did we return those search results instantly? To improve user experience, we constantly make improvements to our products and services. Our users definitely notice the many little things that we do differently to ensure a simple and reliable search experience every time.
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