The Anatomy of a Search Engine: As near as I can tell, this is the original research paper submitted to Stanford by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page describing a new search tool they made called “Google.”
In this paper, we present Google, a prototype of a large-scale search engine which makes heavy use of the structure present in hypertext. Google is designed to crawl and index the Web efficiently and produce much more satisfying search results than existing systems. The prototype with a full text and hyperlink database of at least 24 million pages is available at http://google.stanford.edu/
Tough read — it gets really complicated really fast. In section 2.1.1, they discuss something called “PageRank”:
Academic citation literature has been applied to the web, largely by counting citations or backlinks to a given page. This gives some approximation of a page’s importance or quality. PageRank extends this idea by not counting links from all pages equally, and by normalizing by the number of links on a page.