Query Deserves Freshness Are you Fresh, Stale or Spamming?
Way back in 2005 there was a patent release that had the SEO world scooting around as if they had just discovered the fountain of truth (see related discussions on SEO Chat, Cre8asite, High Rankings Board and Search Engine Watch Forums). It was a very in-depth and revealing glimpse into the mind of Google search engineers. It even had a sibling in; Systems and methods for determining document freshness (filed June 2003 published June 2005).
And then, a strange thing happened; it disappeared.
As you can see in related coverage at locales such as Jim Boykins Blog, Search Engine Watch or Bill Slawski on Search Engine Land or his Blog (and above Forum posts) the links are now a pointing to a different patent; ENTITY DISPLAY PRIORITY IN A DISTRIBUTED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM
The original patent simply disappeared and resurfaced it seemed in smaller bite sized chunks in the form of the following patents;
DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON DOCUMENT INCEPTION DATE (including our pal Matt Cutts filed Nov 2006 published April 2007)
DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON DOCUMENT CONTENT UPDATE (filed Nov 2006 published April 2007)
DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON QUERY ANALYSIS (filed Nov 2006 published April 2007)
DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON TRAFFIC ASSOCIATED WITH A DOCUMENT (filed Nov 2006 published April 2007)
DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON LINK-BASED CRITERIA (filed Nov 2006 published April 2007)
(And it also cites Appl. No. 11/536,901, entitled "Personalized Search Result Ranking")
So what was all the excitement about?
In simplest terms it was about additional ranking/scoring mechanisms that are based on historical data. To that end Google proposed a wide variety of potential methods for including history data relating to:
- document inception dates;
- document content updates/changes;
- query analysis;
- link-based criteria;
- anchor text;
- user behavior;
- domain-related information;
- ranking history;
- user maintained/generated data (e.g., bookmarks and/or favorites);
- unique words, bigrams, and phrases in anchor text;
- linkage of independent peers;
- and/or document topics. Search engine may obtain one, or a combination, of these kinds of history data.
Probably two of the better write ups around were from Rand over at SEOMoz and Jim Hedger (read them for more details). And why I am bringing it up? Well, beyond the fact it is still an interesting document and the mystery of its disappearance Its BACK!!
For its new Home see; Information retrieval based on historical data (filed Dec 2003 published March 2008)
If you missed all the fun last time around, be sure to check it out. As always, there is no Magic Bullet merely some interesting points to consider. It was kind of like a time warp when I notice that it had resurfaced and seemingly with no major changes - I haven't done a line by line comparison to Rand's post, seems like it is essentially unchanged.
.. for more lost and found patent adventures... stay tuned.