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In Brin and Page's paper "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", they describe the variable "d" in the PageRank algorithm as the probability that a random surfer requests a new random page. On the next line, they state:

One important variation is to only add the damping factor d to a single page, or a group of pages. This allows for personalization and can make it nearly impossible to deliberately mislead the system in order to get a higher ranking.

What does this mean? Why would they add the damping factor to only a single page?

Does it mean that the random surfer will keep following links until they arrive at a specific page? I don't think this makes sense because the random surfer can get stuck in a loop and never reach that specific page.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's probably useful to link the paper here at 2.1.2. $\endgroup$ – ryan Jun 8 '17 at 5:21

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