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Social Media Higher Learning; Part 1

Written by David Harry   
Monday, 12 April 2010 12:23

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo patents

Back at the beginning of last year I posted a ton of geeky reading titled; SEO Higher Learning. This was a large resource of various papers, patents, lectures and books for the search geeks of the world. At the time I thought it would be an interesting excercise to also start collecting some for the world of social media/networking. What follows (in a two part series) is the end product of collecting various goodies over the last year.

The goal of this excercise isn't really about picking apart these social sites, but more to offer people some deeper insights as to how they work and various research that has been done. I find getting into the headspace is helpful when trying to better program in a scalably method for now and into the future. In this post we're looking at various patents from the last year awarded to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

I will post more tomorrow (on other papers, patents and lectures).


Recommendation Engine

Automatic generation and recommendation of communities in a social network - Google – Awarded; March 16, 2010
Systems and methods for automatic generation and recommendation of communities in a social network or set forth. According to one embodiment a method comprising accessing a group of profiles in a social network, identifying a match between entries in at least two profiles within the group of profiles, and determining a community based at least in part on the match is set forth.

Leveraging communication to identify social network friends- Microsoft – Awarded March 4, 2010
Electronic communication activity of the social network member and the other party is monitored. Based on a number of characteristics of the communication, a determination is made as to whether to recommend the party to the member as a social network friend. The characteristics can include how the parties communicate--whether through email, instant messaging and/or voice communication.

Hot with my readers - Yahoo – Awarded November 27, 2008
Identifying topics that are of interest to users belonging to a selected online community, across multiple online communities visited by the users. For each online community, click activity or other client behaviors are tracked and analyzed to determine statistical metrics about community activity, such as which articles, links, services, or other network resources are popular in the online community. The results for each community may be further analyzed relative to each other. The results are filtered for the selected community and provided for the selected community. For example, a list of the most popular links for all users belonging to the authored community may be provided.

Suggested contacts for social networks - Yahoo – Awarded December 24, 2009
A social network is managed by applying connectivity and similarity measures to social network information to identify possible new relationships between social network users, and then automatically suggest those identified relationships to the social network users. The social network information can include user profile information and indicate existing social relationships between the users in the social network. Users can provide feedback regarding the suggestions, including indications whether the relationship was accepted, consummated, or declined.

Discovery of friends using social network graph properties - Yahoo – Awarded October 29, 2009
Embodiments are directed towards providing a list of potential friends to a user based on an analysis of friends' contact lists. The user may provide a subset of friends within a contact list for analysis, along with a degree of separation over which to perform the analysis, and/or a minimum threshold number of occurrences for identifying a candidate friend. The subset of friends' contact lists may then be recursively traversed and merged, where common friends may be identified as members of a candidate set for suggesting friends to the user. 

Personal broadcast engine and network - Yahoo – Awarded June 18, 2009
A personal broadcasting system and method is described herein for automatically matching and introducing users based on their real-time locations, such that users identified as capable of or likely to form a relationship can be notified of that fact at a point in time when it is easy to meet. A system and method is also described herein that allows at least one of two users that have visited or passed through the same location at different points in time to automatically receive information about the other despite the temporal separation between them.

Social Behavior Analysis and Inferring Social Networks for a Recommendation System - Yahoo – Awarded June 25, 2009
Systems and methods are provided for determining items or people of potential interest to recommend to users in a computer-based network. Implied social networks may be determined based at least in part on obtained social behavior information. Items or people of potential interest to users may be determined based at least in part on implied social network information. 

Recommendations from Social Networks - Microsoft – Awarded April 16, 2009
Recommendations from social networks is described. In embodiment(s), communications data that is representative of communications between users of client devices can be collected. The communications data can then be evaluated to associate the users that communicate with each other, and a social network can be created that includes the associated users. 

Social Network Site Including Contact-Based Recommendation Functionality (Yahoo Mash) -March 12, 2009
Particular embodiments of the present invention are related to a social network site with enhanced user interaction functionality. In particular implementations, a method includes accessing a list of contacts that are connected to an owner of a personal page of a social network; identifying one or more contact pairs from the list, wherein the contacts in each contact pair are not connected to each other; computing an affinity score for each identified contact pair; randomly selecting one or more of the contact pairs based on corresponding affinity scores.


Social Graph

Socially aware identity manager - Yahoo – Awarded March 11, 2010
A request is received over a network from a first user for data relating to a second user, wherein the request comprises an identification of the second user. Spatial, temporal, topical, and social data available to the network relating to the second user is retrieved using a global index of data available to the network, wherein such data comprises at least one website comprising data relating to the second user, which can include social networking sites. The filtered subset of data relating to the second user is transmitted over the network to the first user.

Automatic determination of an entity’s searchable social network using role-based inferences - Microsoft – Awarded March 4, 2010
Data is extracted from one or more data sources associated with the first entity. The first entity's social network may be determined by linking the first entity to the second entity and the second entity's role(s) in relation to the first entity. Additionally, information about entities found during the first entity's search may be added to a data source associated with the first entity.

Inferring User Interests - Google – Awarded November 6, 2008
The subject matter of this specification can be embodied in, among other things, a method that includes determining, for a portion of users of a social network, label values each comprising an inferred interest level of a user in a subject indicated by a label, associating a first user with one or more second users based on one or more relationships specified by the first user, and outputting a first label value for the first user based on one or more second label values of the one or more second users.

Rating computation on social networks - Microsoft – Awarded December 10, 2009
A social network may be used to determine a rating of a user with no prior history. The ratings for unrated nodes may be inferred from the existing ratings of users associated with the unrated node in either or both the underlying social network or other social networks. Ratings for nodes may be determined using Kirchhoff's Law and in some cases by solving a set of linear equations or by propagating positive and negative ratings using a random walk with absorbing states.

Discovering Leaders in a Social Network - Yahoo – Awarded April 8, 2010
Particular embodiments of the present invention are related to discovering the identity of leaders who influence the performance of particular actions in the context of a social network.


Advertising

Social Marketing - Microsoft – Awarded December 10, 2009
The described implementations relate to social marketing. One technique identifies potential buyers of a product, the potential buyers belong to a social network. The technique determines a price to offer the product to individual potential buyers that considers both influence of the individual potential buyer within the social network and overall revenue from sales of the product to the potential buyers.

System and method for online advertising using user social information - Yahoo – Awarded March 4, 2010
An advertising demand engine may be provided for selecting advertisements using user social information and online behavior to serve to a user for display. A social network engine may be provided for constructing a plurality of networks of correlated users from social network information and online behaviour. An advertisement previously selected by a user or by other users belonging to a network constructed using social information and online behavior may be sent to users belonging to the same network in response to a request to serve an advertisement.

Advertising in an online network - Yahoo – Awarded February 25, 2010
An online advertising method which may allow advertisers to recruit a user of a websites to become an advertisement carrier, who may carry the advertiser's advertisements and display the advertisements to his fellow users in an online community. Since users in the advertisement carrier's online community have similar browsing interests, if an advertisement is related to the browsing interests of the online community, it may be better targeted at the users in the online community.

Influence based rewards for word-of-mouth advertising ecosystems - Microsoft – Awarded February 16, 2010
Determining the contextual influence of a user in referrals of products or services, and determining an amount of compensation for successful referrals based on the contextual influence of the user. The evaluation component can utilize the conversion ratio to facilitate determining an amount of compensation that can be awarded and distributed to the user based on the influence of the user within the context of the product or service referred by the user.

Social Media driven advertisement targeting - Yahoo – Awarded February 4, 2010
Techniques and systems for selecting one or more advertisements to target (e.g., send to, display to, etc.) a user are disclosed wherein the interests of the user are inferred based on current behaviors of social media. Social media is collected and categorized according to some predetermined criteria, such as keywords or outlinks in a post. As a function of the social media collected, current topics in the social media are identified and an advertisement, or advertisements, relating to the current topics is selected.

Differential pricing based on social network standing - Microsoft – Awarded October 2, 2008
The claimed subject matter provides a system and/or method that effectuates and facilitates the generation and provision of differential pricing policies based at least in part on the relative social network standing that a user might have with a potential purchaser. The differential pricing policy can then be utilized to selectively provide differentiated prices to a purchaser based on a relative social network standing that can be established between the purchaser and the user.

Method and Apparatus for Social Network Marketing with Consumer Referral - Yahoo – Awarded September 3, 2009
A service provider facilitates consumption of goods, brands, or services on an interactive network using characterizations of consumers, behavior, brands, consumable goods, advertisers, and advocates to determine a three-way match between a consumable good, a consumer, and an advocate. The matching method determines one or more likely consumers by maximizing the estimated contextual value of personalized advocacy.

System and Method for Providing Advertisements in Connection with Tags of User-Created Content - Yahoo – Awarded March 5, 2009
There is provided a system for providing advertisements in connection with tags of user-created content. The system includes: a request receiving unit configured to receive a request for user-created content from a client terminal, wherein the user-created content includes non-text information; a content reading unit configured to read the user-created content according to the received request; a tag retrieval unit configured to retrieve tags of the read user-created content; an advertisement searching unit configured to search advertisements connected to the retrieved tags.

Sing product and social network data to improve online advertising - Yahoo – Awarded July 2, 2009
Methods and apparatus for improving word-of-mouth online advertising are provided. Construct a social network including multiple users based on the users' social network data and optionally further based on the users' demographical and/or other personal information. Categorize the users in the social network with respect to a type of product in terms of their propensity to adopt the type of product and to influence others in the social network in adopting the type of product.

Ad retrieval for user search on social network sites - Microsoft – Awarded August 13, 2009
After a user searches for another user in a social network, the webpage or blog of the queried user is retrieved, and keywords are extracted from this webpage. The keywords may be extracted from the user's profile on the social network (e.g., favorite sports, music artists, etc.), or keywords may be extracted from the text of the webpage (e.g., comments that comprise the blog entries). Once extracted, these keywords may then be used by an advertising system to provide targeted advertisements to the user.



Social Ecommerce

Information sharing in an online network - Yahoo – Awarded February 25, 2010
A system and method which may allow users, who are looking for similar products or services on a website and thus belong to an online community, to directly communicate with each other. The method may be used in eCommerce, e.g., online shopping or online auction. The method may also be used in other contexts, such as social networking and online photo albums.

Method and Apparatus for Social Network Marketing with Advocate Referral - Yahoo – Awarded September 3, 2009
A service provider facilitates consumption of goods, brands, or services on an interactive network using characterizations of consumers, behavior, brands, consumable goods, advertisers, and advocates to determine a three-way match between a consumable good, a consumer, and an advocate. The matching method determines one or more advocates by maximizing the estimated contextual value of personalized advocacy. 


Social Search

Methods and systems for providing blog information associated with a member of a social network - Google – Awarded November 3, 2009
Methods and systems for providing hyperlinks to blogs that are maintained by members of a social network who have a particular association or relationship with a member of the social network in response to a request are described. A request for blog information may come from a member of the social network or from non-members. In order to gather the blog information, an association type (or association) associated with the request may be identified by a software application.

Finding high quality content in social media - Yahoo – Awarded February 11, 2010
The present invention is directed towards systems and methods for identifying high quality content in a social media environment. The method according to one embodiment of the present invention comprises retrieving a content item and retrieving a plurality of quality features associated with said content item wherein said quality features comprise intrinsic, usage and relationship features. The method then performs an analysis of said content item against said quality features and generates a quality score based on said analysis.

Enabling searching of user ratings and reviews using user profile location and social networks - Yahoo – Awarded December 4, 2008
A system and method are directed towards a free-form search query of user reviews using user profile, location information, and/or social networks, to obtain a result having an associated universal aggregated rating. The user may enter in free-form a search query that may then be transparently modified using the user's profile, social network, and/or current physical location. The search results may then be presented to the user along with aggregated weighted ratings

System and method for identifying web communities from seed sets of web pages - Yahoo – Awarded February 28, 2008
An improved system and method is provided for identifying web communities from seed sets of web pages. A seed set of web pages may be represented as a set of seed vertices of a graph representing a collection of web pages. An initial probability distribution may be constructed on vertices of the graph by assigning a nonzero value to the vertices belonging to the seed set. The level set with the least conductance may then be output representing a community of web pages.

Knowledge extraction from online discussion forums - Microsoft – Awarded February 21, 2008
Concepts presented herein relate to extracting knowledge for a chatbot knowledge base from online discussion forms. Within a thread of on online discussion form, replies are selected based on structural features and content features therein. The replies can be ranked and used in a chatbot knowledge base.

Social network powered query refinement and recommendations - Microsoft – Awarded October 29, 2009
Embodiments of the present invention enhance the search experience of a user by looking at the search history of one or more buddies to provide search enhancements to the user. Examples of search enhancements include an annotation or graphic adjacent to a search result indicating the search result has been visited by one of the user's buddies. In another embodiment, the relevance score assigned to a search result is increased if the search result has been visited by a buddy.

Real-time indexing and search in large, rapidly changing document collections - Yahoo – Awarded December 15, 2009
The present invention is directed to systems and methods for searching content items indexed in real-time. The method according to one embodiment comprises generating an index of word location pairs that identifies the location of one or more words in one or more content items available on a network. One or more additional content items are received over the network. 

Rating user generated content in search - Yahoo – Awarded October 29, 2009
Generally, a method and apparatus provides for rating user generated content (UGC) with respect to search engine results. The method and apparatus includes recognizing a UGC data field collected from a web document located at a web location. The method and apparatus calculates: a document goodness factor for the web document; an author rank for an author of the UGC data field; and a location rank for web location. The method and apparatus thereby generates a rating factor for the UGC field based on the document goodness factor, the author rank and the location rank. 

System and method for ranking search results using social information - Yahoo – Awarded April 1, 2010
An improved system and method for ranking search results using social information is provided. A social information ranking engine may be provided to rerank a list of URLs of web pages in search results from a search engine using social information. To do so, the search query may be applied to a social information domain and a second list of references to web pages may be obtained as search results. 

Search result abstract quality using community meta-data - Yahoo – Awarded August 20, 2009
A system and method is described herein that uses community-based metadata to improve the manner by which a search engine generates an abstract for a document, such as a Web page. The community-based metadata may comprise, for example, tags or descriptors associated with the document by users of a Web service, such as users of a social bookmarking Web service. 

Social Network Search - Yahoo – Awarded August 13, 2009
A device, system and method to enable communications over a network wherein a user may conduct a search directed to target contacts within a social network. A knowledge base of prior social search responses may be searched for responses from the target contacts with the results being presented to the user. The results of the search can be sorted along with responses received from the target contacts. The selection of target contacts and presentation of results can be based on various attributes of target contacts or ranking of the prior search responses.  

Ranking content on social network connection strengths - Yahoo – Awarded March 12, 2009
In one embodiment, a method for presenting content to a user via a web page is provided which includes assigning a value to a connection between the user and an entity (such as a person, group, or organization) in their social network, whether explicitly representing a one-to-one relationship or by implication of a person to a group. Then a web page is delivered to the user, wherein the web page displays content based at least partially on the value of the connection between the user and the entity.

Social news ranking using gossip distance - Yahoo – Awarded June 4, 2009
Devices, systems, and methods are directed towards ranking of messages based on a hop distance a forwarded message travels through a social network. As a message is forwarded by a member of the social network the hop distance increases. As the message is forwarded, recipients and/or senders may view the hop distance in real-time. The hop distance may reflect a number of times the message is forwarded to reach a recipient, or the maximum number of times the message is forwarded. The message may be displayed to a member in a rank ordering based on the hop distance, and messages with hop distances below a defined value may be deleted from a displayed list after a period of time. In one embodiment, a message may be forwarded anonymously to, for example, encourage members to forward the message.

Employing social networks for information discovery - Microsoft – Awarded April 30, 2009
Systems and methods are provided that enable searches of social networks by acting as a "compass" that assists users in navigating the social network. Individual user participation is not required in response to queries from other users. The systems and methods offer navigational assistance or information as opposed to a traditional search which returns requested information, thus currently acceptable social mechanisms for arbitrating trust can be exploited.  

 

Mobile

Social networking for mobile devices - Yahoo – Awarded October 16, 2008
A mobile device, system, and method are directed towards enabling an integrated display of live views. The integrated live views are generated by employing social networking information, including moods of a person, avatars, status of a member's activities including whether they are in an IM session, or the like. By providing the mobile user with integrated live views of their social network, the mobile user may be able communicate with other members within the mobile social networking context, to obtain, and respond to invites from a social network member.

Contextual mobile local search based on Social Network vitality information - Yahoo – Awarded August 28, 2008
A system, apparatus, and method are directed to managing contextual based mobile searches. In one embodiment, the input may be interpreted as a request to perform a context-based search over a network using at least some of the vitality information. Vitality information may include a location of the mobile device, a time of day, an event, information from the mobile user's calendar, past behavior of the mobile user, weather, social networking data, aggregate behaviors, or even information about proximity of a social contact.

Contextual mobile local search based on social network vitality information - Yahoo – Awarded December 22, 2009
A system, apparatus, and method are directed to managing contextual based mobile searches. A context oriented user interface interprets inputs from a mobile user based on vitality information. In one embodiment, the input may be interpreted as a request to perform a context-based search over a network using at least some of the vitality information. Vitality information may include a location of the mobile device, a time of day, an event, information from the mobile user's calendar, past behavior of the mobile user, weather, social networking data, aggregate behaviors, or even information about proximity of a social contact.


Systemic

Information Feeds of a Social Network - Microsoft – Awarded March 4, 2010
In an embodiment, a networked computing system can be used to provide informational feeds and commenting functionality to users of a social computing environment. An informational feed can be populated with events and other information associated with one or more users of interest of an application user, but is not so limited. In one embodiment, a social computing environment can be configured to allow user commenting to feed items or events that are associated with a user or group of users.

Social Networking Tool - Microsoft – Awarded February 11, 2010
A social networking tool is described for use with a display. In an embodiment, the display is permanently located in an enterprise office and facilitates social interaction between users some of whom are remote of the display and at least one of whom is physically local to the display. In an embodiment messages comprising content are received from remote users and the content displayed.

Hot in my communities - Yahoo – Awarded November 27, 2008
Embodiments of the invention are directed to identifying network resources or other topics that are of interest to members of multiple online communities to which a user belongs. Online communities include blogs, websites, games, e-commerce systems, messaging systems, wikis, etc. For each online community, click activity or other client behaviors are tracked and analyzed to determine statistical metrics about community activity, such as which articles, links, services, or other network resources are popular in the online community.

Social Network Building - Yahoo – Awarded February 12, 2009
A portable electronic device is described that permits a user to easily share one or more network IDs with others, even when the user has an obscure, hard-to-remember network ID and/or a large number of different network IDs. A system, method and device is also described that permits a user to aggregate network IDs into different groups depending on the type of networking that the user is seeking to accomplish and to selectively share such groups of network IDs with other users.

Using social networks while respecting access control lists - Microsoft – Awarded April 23, 2009
Techniques are described for use with social networks and associated access information, such as access control lists, indicating which users are allowed to access the social networks. The social networks represent relationships between users. The social networks and access control lists may be represented in a graph which is traversed in connection with performing different operations using the social networks.

Graphical representation of social network vitality - Microsoft – Awarded October 22, 2009
A method for presenting a graphical representation of the strength or vitality of a contact's social network is disclosed. When a user pulls up a graphical user interface displaying contacts in his or her social network, in addition to the traditional profile data for each contact, a virtual object may be displayed. The virtual object for a contact may be displayed in different ways, depending on the strength of the contact's social network.

Federation and interoperability between social networks - Yahoo – Awarded November 26, 2009
Communications between social networks are enabled via authentication that provides single-sign-on (SSO) authentication of users such as individual users or social networks or social network services that desire access to network resources on a particular social network. The particular network requests authentication of the requesting user(s), and based on an authentication result the particular network provides or denies access to the resources. A social network services database maintains a listing of resources of different social networks, that a user can search to determine where to find resources on other networks. 

Access to Trusted User-Generated Content Using Social Networks - Yahoo – Awarded October 1, 2009
A method to access trusted user generated content (UGC) is provided. User registration information containing one or more identities is obtained. Each identity corresponds to an internet social network that is facilitated by one of a plurality of social network sites. The social relationships are collected using the provided user identities at the different social network sites and user extended social networks are created for each user by joining the social relationships collected. Then, UGC is collected from the plurality of social network sites and the collected UGC is correlated with the extended social networks.

Mechanisms for content aggregation, syndication, sharing and updating - Yahoo – Awarded October 1, 2009
"Smart bookmarks" are described which facilitate aggregation, sharing, and dynamic access to the content in which a particular user has an interest.

Constructing a profile using self-descriptive images for use in a social environment - Yahoo – Awarded March 5, 2009
Methods and apparatus are described in which a plurality of sensory stimuli are presented to a user. A response from the user to each of selected ones of the sensory stimuli is recorded where the response is given within a period of time from the presentation of the corresponding sensory stimulus. The period of time is selected to increase the likelihood that the recorded responses are spontaneous.

Identifying and employing social network relationships - Yahoo – Awarded July 9, 2009
Methods and apparatus are described for detecting social relationships across multiple networks and/or communication channels. These social relationships may then be utilized in a wide variety of ways to support and enhance a broad range of user services.


Social Bookmarking

Social aspects of content aggregation, syndication, sharing and updating. - Yahoo – Awarded September 3, 2009
"Smart bookmarks" are described which facilitate aggregation, sharing, and dynamic access to the content in which a particular user has an interest.

Method and systems for using community bookmark data to supplement internet search results - Yahoo – Awarded June 4, 2009
Methods and systems for generating overlay data to supplement search results obtained as a result of an internet search for a query provided by a user. The method includes accessing a universal resource locator (URL) database having URLs that are processed. The URL database has information regarding the number of times a URL in the URL database has been bookmarked and any descriptive tags assigned to specific URLs in the URL database. Then, receiving the query provided by the user that generates search results, where each search result is associated with a URL.


Content Sharing

Sharing of multimedia and relevance measure based on hop distance in a social network - Yahoo – Awarded June 18, 2009
A method, system, and apparatus are directed to sharing information over a network. A request to share a multimedia object may be received. A relevance measure may be retrieved based on an identity of the multimedia object. Sharing the network of the multimedia object between an originating sharing member and a plurality of members of a social network may be enabled. A combination of the relevance measure and a hop distance for the shared multimedia object may be provided.

Sharing of content and hope distance over a social network - Yahoo – Awarded June 18, 2009
A method, system, and apparatus are directed to sharing information over a network. A drag-and-drop of a selection of a portion of content may be received at a sharing area. A sharing message may be generated based on a type of the portion. If the type of the portion indicates storage, the sharing message may comprise a hyperlink to a storage. The sharing message may be useable for providing the portion on at least one client device associated with at least one of a plurality of members of a social network. Sharing over the network of the portion between an originating sharing member and the plurality of members of the social network may be enabled. The portion may be shared for a customizable project. A hop distance may be provided for the shared portion.

Social network based routes - Microsoft – Awarded June 18, 2009
A route can be generated that considers social networking information. For instance, a user can be traveling on vacation and individuals designated by a user can add comments to a route. In addition, previous journeys of user contacts can be evaluated and based upon the evaluation results, portions of a route can be constructed. Further functionality can include transferring rewards between parties for disclosing information as well as posting information on various social networking profiles.


Get Geeky

And there we have it for part one. Tomorrow I'll be posting patents from FaceBook, papers on Twitter, video lectures on a variety of topics and more. It was an interesting journey and made me think, if I wasn't already running a blog about SEO geekiness, one that covered social stuff like this would be a GREAT idea...If you're into social, it might be something to consider... (hint hint...run with it).

Be sure to subscribe to the RSS to make sure you don't miss round 2.


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Comments  

 
0 # Claudia Guzman 2010-04-12 18:37
Thanks for sharing this very substantial post, this will really serve as a guideline in educating ourselves with the importance of social media to gain mopre customers/clients in different perspective.
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0 # Briana Ford 2010-04-14 18:40
This is really interesting. I'm going to link to this article and rank each of these and give a brief overview of what I thought about each information.
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0 # Briana Ford 2010-04-14 18:42
Every link I clicked went to some US Patent/Trademark confusing website. :eyebrow: Is that supposed to happen?
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0 # Dave 2010-04-15 13:28
Yes Briana, they are links to the patent filings =D
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