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Search engine giant Google recently acquired an advanced text search algorithm invented by Ori Alon, an Israeli student. Sources believe Yahoo and Microsoft were also negotiating with the University of New South Wales in Australia, where Alon is a doctoral student in computer science.

Google, Alon and the university all refused to comment, though Google confirmed that "Ori Alon works at Google's Mountain View, California offices."

The University acknowledged that Yahoo and Microsoft had conducted negotiations with its business development company.

Alon told TheMarker in an interview six months ago that the university had registered a patent on the invention.

Orion, as it is called, which Alon developed with faculty, relates only to the most relevant textual results. In addition the software, which currently operates only in English, offers a list of topics directly related to the original source.

"For example, if you search information on the War of Independence, you'll receive a list of related words, like Etzel, Palmach, Ben-Gurion," he explained. The text will only appear on the results page if enough words relevant to the search and the link between them is reasonable. Orion also rates the texts by quality of the site in which they appear.