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Lost Google Patent Resurfaces

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 08:35

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, Cre8asiteHigh 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 Boykin’s 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 QUERY ANALYSIS (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")

Read more... [Lost Google Patent Resurfaces]

Yahoo, Page Rank and Teleportation Oh My!

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 17:37

Say hello to Yahoo's Personalized PageRank

Well I can’t say that I had envisioned myself talking about a PageRank Patent… FROM YAHOO!…. at least not anytime soon. The last time I looked at a PageRank filing it was from you know who, not Yahoo… But it would seem that’s exactly what we have on the menu today;

For your dining pleasure; User Sensitive PageRank

My original curiosity was helped out to no end when everyone’s favourite technical search guru informed me that one of the authors ( Pavel Berkhin ) had also worked on; A Survey on PageRank Computing (2005 - PDF) and Link Spam Detection on Mass Estimation (2006 - PDF) .

User Segmented Personalized PageRank

At first read, it seemed as though they were looking to integrate user performance metrics as a layer onto the ever popular probabilistic/nodal modelling of PageRank. Of course I had to start over again as I thought myself to be deluded by my recent obsessions in this arena was experiencing some strange anomaly produced by some lunch meats that were obviously past their prime. Starting over availed me no favours, only light;

Read more... [Yahoo, Page Rank and Teleportation Oh My!]

Your favortite sites could rock the SERPs

Written by David Harry   
Friday, 11 January 2008 05:30

Google Bookmarks the new ranking signal?

We all know Google is all about the links right? Really, what is a search engine but a collection of bookmarks that is stored in a database that is searchable and ranked for consumption? It then stands to reason that using related data from your bookmarks as a ranking signal would be a great way to try and further deliver more relevant search results. Right?

Well that’s what some fine folks at Google seem to be thinking with a recent patent filing relating to the Google ToolBar and BookMarks; Bookmarks and Ranking (filed in Sept. 2006/ granted Jan 2008). I don't know too many people that even use the Bookmark feature, so maybe some new ideas can bring the masses in.... or maybe not.


Google Bookmarks for Personalized SERPs

The main idea here is that user’s bookmarks can be seen as a ranking signal to related and valued sources when delivering search results. By searching related listings (or searching the bookmarks themselves) they can define signals or document sets to be used in ranking results on a regular search query. So far this seems limited in scope to usage with the Google Toolbar (and Google BookMarks) but who knows, maybe some day they will get some passive data straight from your FireFox or IE Favourites, only the shadow knows...

Ranking via Google BookMarks


Read more... [Your favortite sites could rock the SERPs]

The latest Google Penalty. Fact or Fiction?

Written by David Harry   
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 23:15

In other news today it seems there is a new mystery penalty in town. According to some folks in the industry including Aaron Wall, they seem to feel it is a ‘phrase based’ or ‘performance metric’ based issue. While I am personally not inclined to see how that might work in practice, it sure is nice to see folks talking about 2 of my the Google #6 Knockdown penaltyfavourite topics.

The skinny;

Google Ranking #6 Penalty/Filter – SEO Book | Sphinn action on the post | WebMaster World Conversations


Now, while I do not subscribe to any set ‘minus whatever’ penalties, I have long been a proponent of phrased based methodologies and more recently the inclusion of user performance metrics in search results (be they personalized or otherwise). As any reader here would also know I also hasten to add that the dials (thresholds) are constantly tweaked across a wide variety of ranking factors and there is generally no all ' of a sudden' algorithmic additions.

Much like my earlier post about 'the New Google Algo', I believe there is smoke but no fire here. We shouldn’t be looking for specific random acts that a mere dozen or so people sort of corroborate.  While algorithms based on these methods may be responsible, I don’t believe there is a catch-all adjustment that would cause such a phenomenon to occur. For any of you so inclined to go back along the journey see;

The Phrase Based Optimization Guide and Google is watching you or even my recent series on Personalized Search for more on these issues.

I will be watching if you’d like to pipe in on this one…hit the comments


Until next time, stay tuned.



Taking off my Tin Foil hat

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 17 December 2007 15:10

Getting to (Know, Know) Know You

Will this madness ever cease? I am just about ready to take this tin foil hat and throw it in the microwave to watch the sparks fly… I can tell you that. I mean really, there must be something else I can talk about right? Oh My God! I am being watched I tell you....But oh no, not Davey boy, he’s a UPM Addict and there is little hope.

As such allow me one more folly into the world of Search and User Performance Metrics;


Yesterday, I stumbled across a (2006) Google Patent relating to Ad Targeting named; Determining advertisements using user behaviour information such as past
navigation information

While touring around in there, I ran into these ;


‘navigation history information need not be collected by a toolbar. It can be collected using a proxy server, a browser helper object,
or by a custom browser implementation. One or more of these alternative
approaches can be considered. They are merely different ways of providing
the same functionality’

Ok, so we have many ways of watching you and it includes the GoogleToolBar, FireFox (whom they fund), or any other damn way we please. Sounds reasonable...

Read more... [Taking off my Tin Foil hat]
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